Emerald ash borer (EAB) – A lethal disease spread by the tiny emerald ash borer beetle which quickly kills all the ash trees within an infected region. While it has not come to the Red Wing area yet it will likely make its way here within the next decade through natural migration – unless it is transported into the community before then through the careless movement of firewood. When an infected tree is found in the designated control area the City condemns the tree and requires immediate removal. (Ordinance Section 10.20.02, Subd 1)
EAB first appeared in Minnesota, in St. Paul in 2009 and rapidly spread throughout the Twin Cities. In the Spring of 2014 the emerald ash borer was discovered in Winona. Emerald ash borer beetles can fly, but their natural migration is slow; without help from human movements the MNDNR estimates that EAB could spread to Goodhue County within the decade.
Native to Asia and Eastern Russia, the emerald ash borer was accidently shipped to the United States in wooden pallets made of untreated ash wood from Asia. Since its original detection in Michigan in 2002, the beetle has spread across much of the Eastern United States and Canada – primarily through the careless and unintentional transportation of firewood and other wood products. In fact, the 2009 outbreak in St. Paul can be traced to a single home owner who professed to brining firewood back from a camping trip in an infected area in Wisconsin – over 100 miles away. Similarly, the 2014 outbreak in Winona can be traced to particular neighborhoods where it appears the beetle was spread through human movement as opposed to natural migration.
It might. All species of ash (Fraxinus sp.) are susceptible to EAB and none have any natural resistance. There are over 2,000 ash trees in City rights-of-way and some 200+ in developed parks. Ash represents 25% of the total tree population in some areas of the city. In addition, ash is one of the most common tree covers in the bottomlands along the Cannon and Mississippi rivers, on the bluffs and in agricultural areas.
NEVER MOVE FIREWOOD! Always burn firewood where you buy or harvest it.
The MNDNR has placed a quarantine on the counties of Ramsey, Hennepin, Houston, and Winona to help slow the spread of EAB to other areas of Minnesota. It is against the law to move the following items out of EAB-quarantined counties:
The City has a plan in place. It details the City’s authority to act, identifies risks and resources, and makes recommendations that will allow the City to manage EAB proactively and strategically. Among the strategies for public trees:
There are insecticides on the market that you can use to treat your ash tree and prevent EAB. Based on the advice of the MNDNR, the City recommends that you hold off on treating your tree until EAB is confirmed within 15 miles of Red Wing. Professional arborists have more treatment choices than homeowners have, including some that last for two years. Trees in the early stages of EAB infestation can be treated as well.
You can, but contact the city Tree Inspector first. If you have a qualified tree service or person treat an infested boulevard tree with insecticide at your own expense and in accordance with University of Minnesota Extension suggestions, it may remain in the landscape for as long as the tree remains healthy. However, you must provide evidence, such as an invoice or copy of the product label, to the Tree Inspector.
To help prevent the spread of EAB, avoid cutting down an unhealthy ash tree May-August unless the wood will be chipped at the site. Until EAB is found in Red Wing, there are no restrictions on the movement of ash wood in the community. You can take wood to the compost site on Bench Street during open hours. Ash trees make good firewood and it’s safe to cut and store uncovered if it came from a healthy tree. If the tree was sick, plan to cover and seal the pile while it seasons to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer (EAB).
Many kinds of trees grow well in Red Wing including varieties of maple, linden, hackberry, honeylocust and others. To learn about trees recommended for southeast Minnesota, visit www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/DD6574.html
Minnesota Department of Agriculture http://www.mda.state.mn.us/emeraldashborer
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources http://dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals/eab/index.html
University of Minnesota Research Extension http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/emerald-ash-borer/