January 18, 2024

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) in Kanabec County for the first time, as well as additional areas in Cass and Isanti counties. There are now 47 counties in the state with EAB.

These finds are attributed to EAB surveys being conducted this fall and winter by the MDA in 156 Minnesota communities. The MDA was awarded a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service to conduct these surveys, which will assist communities in their efforts to protect forests. Surveying will continue through spring.

In Kanabec County, EAB infestations were found near the town of Quamba along Highway 23. Additional infestations were found near Hackensack in Cass County and Cambridge in Isanti County.

EAB was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009. The insect larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. Often, the trees show several signs of infestation because of this. Woodpeckers like to feed on EAB larvae, and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of emerald ash borer. Also, EAB tunneling can cause the bark to split open, revealing characteristic S-shaped galleries underneath.

To slow the spread of EAB, the MDA is enacting an emergency quarantine of Kanabec County. The department will also quarantine all of Isanti County. This is an expansion of the previous partial quarantine announced in November 2022. Furthermore, the MDA will quarantine the southern two-thirds of Cass County. The northern border of the quarantine will now extend from the western county line along Highway 34 to Walker, Highway 200 to the southern exterior border of Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, north to Highway 200, and east to the county border. A portion of Cass County was first quarantined in October 2023.

Quarantines limit the movement of firewood, mulch, and all ash material out of the quarantined areas.

A virtual informational meeting for residents and tree care professionals in these counties will be held on Thursday, January 25, 2024, from 10-11 a.m. Experts from the MDA will give a brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

Emerald Ash Borer Virtual Informational Meeting:
January 25, 2024
10–11 a.m.
Register at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab

The public will also have an opportunity to provide input on the proposal to add these county emergency quarantines to the state’s formal quarantine. The MDA is taking comments on the proposed formal quarantines now through February 29, 2024, and recommends adopting the quarantines on March 4, 2024. The proposed quarantine language can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab.

Comments can be made during the virtual meeting or by contacting:

Kimberly Thielen Cremers
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155

There is more EAB information on the MDA website.


Media Contact
Brittany Raveill, MDA Communications