Update on Emerald Ash Borer in Minnesota

During the Minneapolis Spring Home and Garden Show, I stopped by a table with information about Emerald Ash Borer and other invasive and potentially invasive insects. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture had lots of information about the borer, but here are three top things to remember about EAB.

1) Watch for woodpeckers. There’s a long list of symptoms of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation: a thinning crown, D-shaped holes where the borers have left trees, sprouts coming out of the base of the tree, peeling bark and snakelike galleries under the bark. But, if there seems to be a lot of extra woodpecker activity AND you live not too far from one of the sites where the borer has been found, then it’s time to check it out. Fortunately, the University of Minnesota Extension has trained more than 200 volunteers as First Detectors to help homeowners spot an ash borer infestation.

EABadultsideview

Adult Emerald Ash Borer (emeraldashborer.org)

2) EAB has only been found in four Minnesota counties. Even with several new findings this past year, EAB has only been discovered in Hennepin and Ramsey counties in the Twin Cities and in Houston and Winona counties in southeastern Minnesota. That does not mean the borer is not present in other counties, but at this point numbers are not high enough to be noticed. Also, unless you live fairly close to one of the affected counties, the University of Minnesota recommends you not bother to put down insecticide.

3) Don’t transport wood! Most of the sites where the borer has been discovered are on public land and many of them are near city wood disposal areas. The main way that Emerald Ash Borers get around is by hitching a ride on wood, so it’s best not to transport firewood from one part of the state to another. The agriculture department has some suggestions on how firewood should be transported and where to get it from.

Here are some other helpful posts about EAB:

Identifying an ash tree.

Becoming a First Detector

EAB Q & A

—Mary Lahr Schier