The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has placed Wright County under an emergency quarantine, effective Thursday, Sept. 13, after emerald ash borer (EAB) was found along the Interstate 94 corridor in the city of Clearwater.
Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Wright County, the MDA is enacting an 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 17 Minnesota counties are now under a full or partial quarantine to prevent the spread of this highly destructive tree pest.
“We are not surprised to find EAB in this area along I-94, since it’s a high traffic area for truckers and travelers alike. We can be certain that emerald ash borer was brought into Wright County by someone moving infested ash,” said Kimberly Thielen Cremers, MDA Pest Mitigation and Regulatory Response Manager. “The only way to protect Minnesota’s ash trees is to stop moving firewood and other ash products around the state.”
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 www.mda.state.mn.us/eab and use the “Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?” guide. Suspect infestations can be reported to MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.