Emerald ash borer discovered in Minneapolis

On Thursday, Feb. 25, for the first time, the emerald ash borer has been spotted in Minneapolis. Officials from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of the beetle in four trees in Tower Hill Park, which is in the Prospect Park/East River Road neighborhood. This infestation is within a mile of where the emerald ash borer was found last year in Saint Paul. In response, the two trees with the infestation will be removed, and an intensified search of all ash trees in the surrounding area will begin.

The emerald ash borer is a non-native species that bores under the bark of ash trees to lay eggs. The larvae that hatch live under the bark, feeding on the tissue layer there. This disrupts water and nutrients from reaching all sections of the tree, eventually causing its death.

The emerald ash borer is a major concern because it has caused the deaths of millions of ash trees 13 states, and approximately 20 percent of the tree canopy in Minneapolis consists of ash trees. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has issued a state quarantine on firewood, ash trees, and ash tree products in Hennepin, Ramsey and Houston counties to slow the spread of emerald ash borer.

Although this is the first time the emerald ash borer has been found in Minneapolis, the discovery was anticipated. The City and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board have been preparing for this day for some time and are now working collaboratively with other local, state and federal agencies on efforts to mitigate the effects of the insect.

More information on emerald ash borer is available at the following websites:

Published Feb 25, 2010