Containing the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

by V. Ribich

Ventral view of Emerald Ash Borer adult.

Did you know that we have over 900,000 ash trees just within Minneapolis and over 998 million in Minnesota? That’s a lot of food for the hungry larvae of the EAB. In May 2009, an infestation was found in St. Paul, northeast of the I-94 and Hwy 280 intersection. In February 2010, both Hennepin and Ramsey counties were placed under quarantine to help contain this menacing pest. Anyone within these two counties is prohibited from moving ash trees (whole or in parts) and  the  EAB outside these counties.

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is working in tandem with the University of Minnesota, the St. Paul Forestry Department and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to inspect and monitor the spread of EAB by inventorying existing ash trees, creating educational programs and replacing fallen ash trees with other tree species. No ash trees have been planted by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board since 2007.

You might be asking yourself, that’s great, but what can I do to help? Actually, there are three effective steps you can take to help prevent the spread of the EAB. Knowing where the problem is will give us time to identify and perfect strategies in the use of biological control agents such as parasitic wasps and pesticide options.

  1. Do not transport firewood unless it is MDA certified (see emblem below) If you are camping, buy your firewood locally or MDA certified and only bring MDA certified firewood with you.
  2. The best firewood is local firewood. If you are approached by someone selling firewood, ask if the firewood is from outside MN. Then, ask if the firewood is MDA or USDA certified. This means the wood has been heated to kill EAB and other insects.
  3. Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. Woodpecker holes, bark cracks and s-shaped hollows under the bark are all common signs.

If you suspect someone is not abiding by the quarantine or think you see signs and symptoms of EAB in your ash tree, please contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture by email, or by phone, 1-888-545-6684. Provide as much detail as possible so they can investigate the event. Name and address of the person in question is best, but a vehicle license is also appropriate.

More Information

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Emerald Ash Borer Program –  learn more about the EAB such as dormant periods, treatment options, disposal sites for infected wood, a copy of the quarantine (Ramsey, Hennepin, Houston & Winona counties) and many other FAQ topics.

Cooperative Emerald Ash Borer Project Multi-State Map – for EAB locations in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Firewood Restrictions – for information about firewood alerts and restriction and if camping to locate a local source for firewood.

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