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Emerald ash borer found in Rice County

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today that emerald ash borer (EAB) was detected for the first time, earlier this week, in Rice County. A public works employee contacted MDA after discovering an ash in downtown Faribault showing EAB symptoms.
Watch for S-shaped EAB galleries
and larvae in suspect ash trees.
Photo: Jeff Hahn, U of MN Extension

A live larva was found and confirmed by federal identification. Ironically, the infested tree was found a short time after the employee had attended an EAB workshop put on by MDA.

This is the 22nd county in Minnesota that has verified EAB. This was not as surprising as some EAB finds as Rice County is adjacent to five other counties with known EAB infestations. This invasive borer was first found in Minnesota in 2009. Minnesota has a lot at risk as it has one of the largest number of ash in the country, nearly one billion trees.

Since EAB was first found in North American 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.

MDA recommends several steps residents can take to help identify EAB.
  • Look for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB.
  • Check for bark cracks. EAB larvae tunneling under the bark can cause the bark to split open, revealing the larval (S-shaped) tunnels underneath.
  • 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 1-888-545-6684.
The original MDA news release can be found here

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

Author:  Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist
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