Emerald ash discovered in Steele
Steele County has been
placed under quarantine
after a highly destructive tree
killing disease was discovered
On Sept. 4, the Minnesota
Department of Agriculture
confirmed that the Emerald
ash borer has been found within
the City of Medford. It’s the
first time the disease has been
discovered in Steele County.
A tree care professional
contacted the MDA last week
after they noticed several dying
ash trees at a site Medford.
Staff from MDA was able to
find live EAB and collect a
sample for federal identification.
That confirmation came
last Wednesday from USDA.
The deadly disease was
found in at least one tree by
the Medford Township building
located at the intersection
of Central Avenue W and
Third Street NE, according to Mayor Lois Nelson. She said the city will be formulating a plan in the coming weeks to deal with this discovery. "Steele County is highly
susceptible to ash borer damage because we have lots of ash trees around,” said Claire LaCanne, agri- cultural extension educa- tor with the University of Minnesota.
The EAB is a beetle whose larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients throughout the trunk, LaCanne said.
“You may have heard of this pest and its ability to kill an ash tree quickly, leaving behind S-shaped galleries under the bark as well as D-shaped exit holes,” she said.
MDA is seeking the help
of everyone in controlling EAB. “We rely on partners in our tree care, logging, and landscaping industries to help us monitor for em- erald ash borer and other invasive pests,” said Mark Abrahamson, Director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division. “However, we also need every Minnesotan to be vigilant. Know and look for signs of invasive pests; don’t move firewood and other materials around that may transport these in- sects; and, report anything unusual to us at the MDA.”
Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Steele County, MDA will be 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. Steele County joins
20 other counties that are now under a full or partial
quarantine to prevent
the spread of this highly destructive tree pest.
Residents of Steele Coun-
ty are invited to an open house on Tuesday, Oct. 1, regarding the discovery of emerald ash borer in the county. Those attending
the open house will have an opportunity to learn more about EAB and local op- tions to deal with the insect and hear how residents can limit the spread of the bug. Experts will be available to answer questions.
The open house will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Oct.
1 in the board room at the Steele County Administra- tion Building in Owatonna.
The public will also have
an opportunity to provide input on the proposal to add Steele County to the state formal quarantine. The MDA will take comments
on the proposed formal quarantine through Oct. 25, and proposes to adopt the quarantine on Nov. 1. The quarantine limits the move-
ment of ash trees and limbs,
and hardwood firewood out of the county. The proposed quarantine language can
be found at www.mda.state. mn.us/eab.
Anyone with additional questions may reach out to Kimberly Thielen Cremers at MDA in St. Paul at kimberly.tcremers@state. mn.us.
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 the St. Paul area in 2009 and is now found in 35 states.
Minnesota is highly sus- ceptible to the destruction caused by EAB. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most
of any state in the nation.