FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Liz Erickson, Communications Coordinator
MDA confirms emerald ash borer infestation at Fort Snelling golf course
ST. PAUL, Minn. – ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today confirmed an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation in ash trees at the Fort Snelling Golf Club. The infestation was reported to MDA by an employee of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Forestry Department, which maintains trees at the golf course.
The infestation is within Hennepin County, which is one of four Minnesota counties already under quarantine for EAB. However, the infested trees are within a half mile of the Dakota County border. MDA will be conducting a survey of the surrounding area over the next week to determine whether a quarantine may be necessary for Dakota County as well. EAB quarantines, which are designed to slow the spread of the forest pest, prohibit moving out of the affected county any materials that are potentially infested with EAB. The list of potentially infested materials includes ash trees and ash tree limbs, as well as all hardwood firewood.
This is the first new EAB infestation found in Minnesota in 2012. However, MDA Plant Protection Division Director Geir Friisoe urges citizens around the state to be aware of the pest and to watch for signs of infestation.
“EAB is a major threat to our forests and urban landscapes, and it can exist in an area for three to five years before signs are noticeable,” Friisoe said. “We need all Minnesotans to help us control the spread of this pest. The best way to do that is by not transporting firewood and by following quarantine restrictions in the affected counties.”
EAB is an invasive beetle that kills ash trees. Its 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 millions of ash trees in 16 states. The metallic-green adult beetles are a half inch long, and are active from May to September. Signs of infestation include one-eighth inch, D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and serpentine tunnels under the bark.
Officials remind Minnesotans they can take the following steps to keep EAB from spreading:
Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org