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.