EMERALD ASH BORER UPDATE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
MDA confirms emerald ash borer find in Anoka County
Anoka County to become the seventh 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 Anoka County. EAB was found in an ash tree on private property in the city of Ham Lake.
The infested tree was detected through a call to the MDA’s Arrest the Pest Hotline. The hotline allows concerned residents to report suspicious invasive plants and insects, like the emerald ash borer. Based on the call, MDA staff was able to visit the site and determine an ash tree in question was infested with EAB.
“We encourage residents to go out this time of year and look at their ash trees for signs of emerald ash borer,” said MDA Entomologist Mark Abrahamson. “Looking for EAB, reporting possible infestations, and following quarantines will allow for us to slow the spread of EAB and limit the impacts of this pest in Minnesota.”
There are several things residents should look for when checking for emerald ash borer.
1. Be sure you’ve identified an ash tree. This is an important first step since EAB only feeds on ash trees. Ashes have opposite branching – meaning branches come off the trunk directly across from each other. On older trees, the bark is in a tight, diamond-shaped pattern. Younger trees have a relatively smooth bark.
2. Look for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB.
3. Check for bark cracks. EAB larvae tunneling under the bark can cause the bark to split open, revealing the larval (S-shaped) tunnels underneath.
4. Contact a professional. If you feel your ash tree may be infested with EAB, contact a tree care professional, your city forester, or the MDA at email@example.com or 888-545-6684.
Because of this find, Anoka County will be put under an emergency quarantine and eventually join Dakota, 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.
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 Dakota in December 2014.
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.
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; and,
• Watch your ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to www.mda.state.mn.us/eab and use the “Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?”
CONTACT: Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications
651-201-6185 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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The MDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.
Senior Communications Officer
Minnesota Department of Agriculture