The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a non-native beetle first found in the United States in 2002 in the Detroit, Michigan area. It is native to Asia. The species kills all native species of ash trees. Click to learn more about ash tree identification and ash tree management guidelines.
It has been found in many Midwestern & Eastern states including Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Hundreds of millions of trees have died across the USA with significant cost of removal and replacement.
The EAB was first found in Minnesota in 2009 and to date verified infestations have occurred in Minneapolis, St. Paul, several suburbs and in rural Winona and Houston Counties. Minnesota has over 900 million ash trees that are at risk.
The beetle (EAB) lays its eggs on ash trees. As they hatch, the larvae feed inside the bark and disrupt the transport of water and nutrients within the ash tree. Affected trees die within 1-3 years of infestation.
All of us can be involved in the process of EAB prevention and identification. As of early 2012, there has been no infestation identified within or near Zumbrota. A DNR tree survey completed in 2010 for Zumbrota indicates that about 11.4% of the city’s tree population is ash species. It is only a matter of time before the beetle arrives so preparedness will be ongoing.
Several web-sites that may be of interest are:
An ash borer treatment guide that describes treatment alternatives, their pros/cons and likely outcomes can be found at:
Preparedness Planning for Property Owners
The following steps may be considered to minimize future effects of EAB infestation on your property:
City of Zumbrota Plans
At this time, education and monitoring are the most important considerations. The city plans to take the following steps:
Another aspect important to the city is reforestation to replace potential ash tree losses and to expand the tree canopy. A significant amount of ash trees are located in city parks. The Covered Bridge Park area includes 50-60 ash trees that will be a priority for tree replacement.
Over an 8-12 year timeframe, a diversified variety of new trees will be planted adjacent to ash stands in appropriate park areas and on boulevards. This process will ease the transition to a “no ash” environment and spread the cost and workload for city staff across several years. The result will be a more resilient environment for future generations to enjoy.
Treatment programs to prevent ash borer damage will likely not be utilized due to the ongoing cost and potential environmental concerns.