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MDA confirms EAB in Anoka County

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

(The following information is taken from a March 25, 2015 news release from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture)

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced on Wednesday March 25 that emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed in Anoka County for the first time when an infested tree was found on private property in Ham Lake. MDA was alerted to the infested tree through a call to their Arrest the Pest phone number.

Anoka County is the seventh county in Minnesota to confirm the presence of EAB. Additionally, EAB has also been found in Hennepin, Ramsey, Houston, Winona, Olmsted, and Dakota (which was just confirmed last December) counties.

Residents are encouraged to look at their ash trees for signs of EAB. 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. See also Ash Tree Identification

2. Look for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB.

3. Check for vertical 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 or

Woodpeckers often attack ash trees infested by EAB

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.

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 Does My Tree Have Emerald Ash Borer?

For more information about EAB, see the University of Minnesota Extension publication, Emerald ash borer in Minnesota.

The original MDA news release can be found here.

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