March 7, 2017

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today announced it has formalized a quarantine for emerald ash borer (EAB) in southeast St. Louis County. The EAB quarantine limits the movement of firewood and ash material out of the quarantined area of the county. This will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.

The quarantined area runs from MN Highway 33/US Highway 53 on the west to the Lake County border on the east. The northern border of the quarantine runs from US Highway 53 along Three Lakes Road (County Highway 49) east to the intersection of Vermilion Trail. It then continues along the northern edge of Gnesen, North Star, and Alden townships. This extends south to the Carlton County/State of Wisconsin border. See the map for details.

The MDA enacted an emergency quarantine in September 2016 when EAB was discovered near Duluth’s Hartley Park. Because of feedback received during a public comment period, the MDA proposed adding part of northeast Carlton County to the quarantine. However, after further review and public input, the MDA will enact the original quarantine on the southeast portion of St. Louis County.

The biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash products harboring larvae. There are three easy steps Minnesotans can take to keep EAB from spreading:

  • Don’t transport firewood. Buy firewood locally from approved vendors, and burn it where you buy it;
  • Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. If you live in a quarantined county, be aware of the restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood; and,
  • Watch your ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to and use the guide “Does my tree have emerald ash borer?”

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. EAB was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009. The invasive insect has now killed tens of millions of ash trees in 30 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