A year ago, the city planted 37 hybrid maple and alder trees as part of a DNR project. They want to see if those trees are suitable replacements for ash trees because of the threat of the emerald ash borer.
A dry summer combined with a cold winter has tested the trees and so far they're standing up to the test.
"They appear to be coming through this winter just fin," said Parks and Forestry Superintendent Todd Chwala. "We did note that these experimental trees that we planted last summer seem to be outpacing some of the other trees we planted, so that's very encouraging."
Eau Claire was one of six cities chosen for the experiment. The DNR will continue to study the trees for five more years before deciding if they can be used by cities for planting.