Emeral Ash Borer has been detected near SE Como

posted May 28, 2009, 3:53 PM by Stephanie Hankerson   [ updated Jun 1, 2009, 6:27 AM ]

Emeral Ash Borer (EAB) has been detected in the adjacent neighborhood of St. Anthony Park in St. Paul.  On May 20th, Senator Ellen Anderson called a public meeting on the issue.

The most important message is not to act yet.  Cutting down your ash trees nor treating them with insecticide are not recommended at this time.  See the text box for immediate impacts.

Crews are in the area to assess and to determine spread of infestation.  They are presently focused on a 2 mile radius and will go  onto private property to evaluate trees. This perimeter is based on other outbreaks in other states.  EAB detectors will be going door to door in this area. As of Sunday May 31st, 20 trees in this area are identified as infested but many more than that will be cut down starting 6/1/09.  There will be a decision concerning appropriate response in the next 2 weeks. After this time the insect will take flight and the spread will go on.  At the time of the public meeting, the EAB detectors had looked at a few trees in Minneapolis but not yet with a bucket truck.

EAB is an exotic, non-native beetle that hard to spot and very easy to move.  It has probably been here for 5 years based on past research done on how long it takes for an infestation to be detected. To confirm presence, evaluators must take off the tree's bark to see tunneling of insect larve. This is the only way to confirm presence of the insect and this type of evaluation kills the tree.  The larva are the ones who kill the tree by feeding on phloem.  Symptoms and insect activity typically start at the top of the tree.   After a few years the affected trees experience logarithmic  increases in EAB population, which is when people notice the symptoms. The insect can infest even small branches. EAB only infests live trees as need a year or two to complete lifecycle.  

There is no control of the insect in a widespread area, its only manage the impact. Nearly every other attempt to contain EAB outbreaks has not worked in other states.

Immediate Impact of the Emerald Ash Borer nearby discovery

Immediate impact:
  • Firewood transport has been tightened, no transport of firewood across county lines. When going to state parks or up to the cabin, use only approved vendors who heat wood. Over 600 approved vendors. Location of these vendors is available on DNR website. Maximum for penalty of quarantine is $7500 per day. Quarantine is on all ash materials, timber, firewood, branches.
  • Citizens should only seek an ISA certified arborist for treatment. Typically $50-$200 per year for each tree, must be a licensed pesticide applicator. Insecticide treatment is a lifetime commitment. So folks will need to compare that to costs of removal.  www.gardenminnesota.com for lists of ISA arborists
  • Expect door-to-door tree salesman to appear, this happened during the Dutch Elm disease peak.  Careful, as they can be selling wild-dug trees which will not have a good chance of survival, ruin the habitat they come from and could transport other disease.
  • Ramsey County Yard waste sites are operating normally in respects to bringing wood waste to the sites, but the sites are not allowing wood to go out anymore. This means no wood chips, branches or logs are being allowed to leave the sites.
  • Followup meetings will be happening in Ramsey and Hennepin County.
  • Its suggested, but not mandatory at this time, to grind ash waste to less 1 inch in size to eliminate pest. Also, it is recommended to hold any ash wood waste on your property, not disposing or dropping of at collection sites (for the time being).
  • If you think you have EAB, go through the steps at Do I have emerald ash borer? (246 K PDF) to be sure. Those without internet access can call Forest Resources Extension at 612-624-3020.