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Home > Plants, Pests & Pest Control > Pest Management > Emerald Ash Borer Program

Emerald Ash Borer Early Detection & Rapid Response


Emerald Ash Borer is in Minnesota

On May 14, 2009, emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed as present in the South Saint Anthony Park neighborhood in St. Paul. EAB is a serious invasive tree pest, and consequently a quarantine has been placed to help slow the spread of EAB to other areas.

What is EAB and how does it spread?

 

EAB is an insect that attacks and kills ash trees. It is spread through transported firewood. The adults are small, iridescent green beetles that live outside of trees during the summer months. The larvae are grub or worm-like and live underneath the bark of ash trees. Trees are killed by the tunneling of the larvae under the tree's bark. Check out this video on the life cyle of the EAB.

This video was produced with the collaboration of the faculty and students of Art Institutes International and McNally Smith College of Music, with technical assistance provided by MDA, DNR, U of M Extention and with funding from USDA.

Where is the EAB infestation in Minnesota?

map of locations of eab infestationEAB is native to eastern Asia but was discovered in Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, in 2002. Indications are it may have been introduced to this area as early 1990. EAB has been spread in ash firewood, nursery stock and possibly other ash materials to a number of new areas. View map of EAB finds in Minnesota to right. Click on the icon to zoom, scroll, and see the most recent updates. View map of EAB finds in Minnesota

Why should I care about EAB?

EAB kills ash trees. All ash trees are susceptible to EAB and millions of ash trees have been killed in infested areas already. what are the common myths about emerald ash borer Minnesota has the highest volume of ash trees in the U.S. with almost a billion forestland and urban wood ash trees. The potential economic and environmental impacts of losing these trees is substantial. The cost of removing and replacing a single tree can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars – how many ash trees are in your yard? Here is a guide for Ash tree Identification (PDF: 7.95 MB / 2 pages).

  

What can I do about EAB?

  • Don't import materials to Minnesota that could harbor EAB such as ash firewood. MDA Certified Firewood Certificate
  • Don't move firewood unless it's MDA Certified firewood (look for the MDA Certified Seal)
  • Remember that it is illegal to move all hardwood firewood outside of EAB quarantine counties of Ramsey, Hennepin, Houston, and Winona Counties unless its MDA Certified firewood.
  • Become knowledgeable about recognizing EAB and remain vigilant to the condition of your ash trees.
  • Stay informed on EAB by signing up to our monthly e-newsletter, The New Plant Pest Insider
  • If you suspect a reportable pest
    • Note the exact location
    • Take a digital photo if it is possible
    • Contact MDA "Arrest the Pest": Voice mail 888-545-6684 or by email Arrest.The.Pest@state.mn.us

What should I do if my ash tree is in decline?

  • And always remember to plant a variety of trees and use proper planting techniques.

What are the Common Myths about EAB?

Myth No. 1. We can’t do anything about EAB anyway; we might as well let it spread.

EAB is a devastating pest: our choices now for ash trees near an outbreak are either treat or remove.Slowing the actual spread of EAB may mean economic viability for cities that are affected. If nothing is done to slow the spread, EAB can kill all area ash trees in a very short time. Slowing the spread means a city can spend $1M a year on ash tree removal for eight years, instead of spending $8M in one year for all the dead trees. Spreading the costs over many years is easier on any city’s budget, and that city’s taxpayers. Another reason is to buy time to let the science catch up: detection methods are improving and more is being learned about EAB weaknesses. Additional research is needed, but it takes time. While it’s unlikely there will be a silver bullet, if scientists can find enough weaknesses in EAB, we may be able to save ash tree species in the U.S.

Myth No. 2. EAB has no impact on human health, it just kills trees.

EAB-killed trees dry out quickly and become hazard trees in less time than after a normal tree death. Hazard trees are trees that can be dangerous because of the possibility of them falling over or large branches breaking off, with a potential to cause personal injury to people. In addition, a recent study by the U.S. Forest Service found that the decrease in tree numbers due to EAB in the Detroit, Michigan area (where EAB started) caused an increase in human mortality related to cardio-vascular and respiratory systems. 


Emerald Ash Borer Flight Season Begins May 1st

Minnesota Department of Agriculture considers May 1 – September 30 to be the flight season for emerald ash borer (EAB). This means that EAB adult beetles are emerging from infested wood or trees and flying in search of new hosts during this time. EAB larvae complete their development by pupating into adult beetles in the spring and early summer. However, this process only occurs when temperatures are sufficiently warm and the whole process requires a certain amount of accumulated heat – i.e., development time. Accumulated heat can be measured and tracked by using degree days which are a measure of time spent above a threshold temperature.

For EAB a base temperature of 50° F is used and the following are estimated thresholds for EAB activity:

450 degree days – first EAB adults may begin emerging

900-1100 degree days – peak EAB adult activity

Current base 50° F degree day accumulations for Minnesota and Wisconsin are available from UW Extension Ag Weather.


Available material for request in hard copies

  • Firewood bookmarks and tri-fold brochures
  • EAB credit card sized ID handout
  • EAB table top display (limited quantity available)
  • Recognizing insect galleries in ash trees
  • EAB biological control tri-fold brochures
  • Ash tree tags

Helpful External Links


    Contact MDA
    888-545-6684
    Arrest.The.Pest@state.mn.us