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Emerald ash borer now found in Steele County

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today that emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Steele County for the first time in the city of Medford. Several dying ash trees were discovered by a tree care professional who contacted MDA. MDA was able to find live EAB, which were confirmed by the USDA.

If you are suspicious of  EAB, watch for larvae under
the bark.  Photo Jeff Hahn, U of MN Extension

Steele County is the 20th county in Minnesota known to be infested with EAB. This invasive beetle was first found in Minnesota in 2009. Since EAB was first found in North America in 2002, it has spread to 35 states and five Canadian provinces. It has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees and has cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Minnesota has nearly one billion ash trees in the state, one of the largest in the country.

Minnesotans can help prevent the spread of EAB with these three easy steps:
  • Don’t transport firewood. Buy firewood locally from approved vendors, and burn it where you buy it;
  • Be aware of 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 and use the “Does My Tree Have Emerald Ash Borer?” guide. Suspect infestations can be reported to MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or
There will be open house sponsored by MDA on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 to discuss the discovery of emerald ash borer in Steele County. Residents will be able to see samples and ask experts questions about EAB.

Emerald Ash Borer Open House
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
6 – 8 p.m.
Steele County Administration Building, Board Room
Owatonna, MN 55060

The original MDA news release can be found here.

For more information on EAB, see Emerald ash borer in Minnesota.

Author: Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist
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