The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) in Carver and Sibley counties. These are the 24th and 25th counties in the state with EAB.
A tree care professional contacted the MDA after spotting several trees with EAB-like symptoms near the Carver-Sibley County line north of the city of Belle Plaine. MDA staff were able to find live EAB larvae in infested trees on both sides of the county border and collect samples for federal identification.
An ash tree with EAB may show several signs of infestation, including woodpecker holes and bark cracks. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of emerald ash borer. Also, EAB larvae tunneling under the bark can cause the bark to split open, revealing the larval galleries underneath.
Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Carver and Sibley counties, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is enacting an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the counties. This will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.
An open house for residents and tree care professionals in the two counties will be announced at a later date.
Emerald ash borer 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. The invasive insect was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and is now found in 35 states.
EAB will have a major impact on Minnesota. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation.
There is more EAB information on the MDA website.
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications