(The following information is taken from an October 8, 2015 news release from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today identified emerald ash borer (EAB) in Washington County. An adult EAB was found on a survey trap that had been placed at the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s St. Croix Rest Area on Interstate 94. During a follow-up visit, staff discovered a nearby tree had tunneling consistent with the invasive pest.
|Emerald ash borer stuck on a purple sticky trap. |
Photo: Jeff Hahn, UMN Extension
Washington County becomes the 11th county in Minnesota to verify EAB. EAB was also confirmed in 2015 for the first time in Scott, Chisago, Fillmore, and Anoka Counties. This invasive beetle has also been found in Hennepin, Houston, Olmstead, Ramsey, and Winona counties
Because this is the first time that EAB has been identified in Washington County, the specimen has been sent to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for confirmation, which is expected later this week. Pending confirmation, the MDA and USDA will work closely to determine appropriate follow-up actions.
One of the likely actions will place Washington County under an emergency quarantine, joining the other ten counties where EAB has been confirmed in a state and federal quarantine. The quarantine is in place to help prevent EAB from spreading outside of 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.
The biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash products harboring larvae. There are several 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.
- 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?” guide.
- If you feel your ash tree may be infested with EAB, contact a tree care professional, your city forester, or the MDA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-545-6684.