The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Watonwan County for the first time. There are now 38 counties in the state, including Watonwan, with EAB.
An employee with the University of Minnesota Extension contacted the MDA after suspecting a group of trees in the town of Butterfield was infested with EAB. MDA staff were able to find EAB larvae and collect samples. Federal identification confirmed emerald ash borer.
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.
Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Watonwan County, the MDA is enacting an emergency quarantine of the county, which limits the movement of firewood and ash material out of the area.
The MDA issues quarantines for all areas known to have EAB to reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.
A virtual informational meeting for residents and tree care professionals in Watonwan County will be held on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Experts from the MDA will give a brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.
Emerald Ash Borer Virtual Informational Meeting:
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Register at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab
The public will also have an opportunity to provide input on the proposal to add Watonwan County’s emergency quarantine to the state’s formal quarantine. The MDA is taking comments on the proposed formal quarantine now through February 17, 2023, and recommends adopting the quarantine on February 21, 2023. 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.
Brittany Raveill, MDA Communications