July 31, 2019

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is placing Nobles County under an emergency quarantine after emerald ash borer (EAB) was found in the city of Worthington.

Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Nobles County, the MDA will be enacting the emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. This will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect. A total of 19 Minnesota counties, including Nobles County, are now under a full or partial quarantine to prevent the spread of this highly destructive tree pest.

“Many of our recent emerald ash borer finds have been along major roadways, such as this find along Interstate 90 in Worthington,” said Mark Abrahamson, Director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division. “We can see how this insect and other destructive pests are often moved through human assistance. To protect our ash trees, Minnesotans and visitors to our state must continue to be vigilant and obey quarantines limiting the movement of firewood and other ash products around the state.”

Residents of Nobles County are invited to an open house on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, regarding the discovery of emerald ash borer in the county. Those attending the open house will have an opportunity to learn more about EAB and local options to deal with the insect and hear how residents can limit the spread of the bug. Experts will be available to answer questions.

Emerald Ash Borer Open House
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
6-8 p.m.
Nobles County Government Center, Farmers Room
315 10th Street, Worthington, MN 56187

The public will also have an opportunity to provide input on the proposal to add Nobles County to the state formal quarantine. The MDA will take comments on the proposed formal quarantine through September 25, 2019, and proposes to adopt the quarantine on October 1, 2019. The quarantine limits the movement of ash trees and limbs, and hardwood firewood out of the county. The proposed quarantine language can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab.

Comments can be made at the open house or by contacting:
Kimberly Thielen Cremers
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155
Fax: 651-201-6108

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.

Minnesota is highly susceptible to the destruction caused by EAB. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation.


Media Contact
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications