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Extension > Local Extension Offices > Dakota > County Agriculture Educator > Articles > Emerald ash borer found in Dakota County

Emerald ash borer found in Dakota County

The following is a press release from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 23, 2014

MDA confirms emerald ash borer find in Dakota County

Dakota County to become the sixth county in Minnesota under quarantine for EAB

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today confirmed an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation in Dakota County. EAB was found in an ash tree in Lebanon Hills Regional Park in the city of Eagan, just north of the border with Apple Valley.

The infested tree was detected through a routine visual survey of ash trees currently being conducted by the MDA. This survey is designed to find EAB in counties bordering the Ramsey and Hennepin County quarantine area.

Because of this find, Dakota County will join Hennepin, Houston, Olmsted, Ramsey, and Winona counties in a state and federal quarantine. The quarantine is in place to help prevent EAB from spreading outside a known infested area. It is designed to limit the movement of any items that may be infested with EAB, including ash trees and ash tree limbs, as well as all hardwood firewood.

Minnesota is highly susceptible to the destruction caused by EAB. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation.

“Because of the predominance of ash in Minnesota, it’s critical that people be aware of and follow the quarantine,” said MDA Entomologist Mark Abrahamson. “Minnesotans have done a good job of limiting the movement of EAB out of quarantined areas and that is evident in the slow spread of EAB in Minnesota. Finding a new infestation is disappointing, but we all need to keep working to limit the impacts of this pest.”

Emerald ash borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and feeding on the tree’s nutrients. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 24 states. The invasive insect was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009. The last county to be quarantined for EAB was Olmsted in August 2014.

The metallic-green adult emerald ash borer beetles are a half-inch long, and are active from May to September. Infestation signs include one-eighth inch, D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and winding tunnels under the bark.

The biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash products harboring larvae. There are three easy steps Minnesotans can take to keep EAB from spreading:

  • Don’t transport firewood. Buy firewood locally from approved vendors, and burn it where you buy it;
  • Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. If you live in a quarantined county, be aware of the restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood. Details can be found online at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/en/plants/pestmanagement/eab/regulatoryinfo.aspx; and,
  • Watch your ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to www.mda.state.mn.us and use the “Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?” checklist or contact MDA’s Arrest the Pest Hotline by calling 888-545-6684 or emailing Arrest.The.Pest@state.mn.us to report concerns.

 

Posted 1/5/15 by Neith Little

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