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Emerald ash borer found near Duluth's Hartley Park

More tree-eating emerald ash borer bugs were found in Duluth recently and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has extended a wood quarantine to include most of southeastern St. Louis County.The latest bugs were first discovered by a tree-trim...

Emerald ash borer
Emerald ash borer beetle. (file photo / News Tribune)
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More tree-eating emerald ash borer bugs were found in Duluth recently and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has extended a wood quarantine to include most of southeastern St. Louis County.The latest bugs were first discovered by a tree-trimming service just north of Hartley Nature Center on Northfield Road earlier this month. They were collected by state agriculture officials and confirmed by a federal laboratory.The quarantine now covers St. Louis County from Duluth east to the Lake County border, north to the Three Lakes Road and west to U.S. Highway 53, south to the Carlton County line and east to the Wisconsin border.The quarantine makes it illegal to move ash trees, wood chips or any kind of firewood out of the quarantine area into a non-quarantine area, with experts noting that the movement of infested firewood is probably the No. 1 way emerald ash borers have been able to expand their range so fast.
“Duluth-area residents may be tempted to take firewood from within the quarantined area and transport it to cabins and campsites outside the quarantine,” said Geir Friisoe, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection Division director. “We want to stress that this wood should not be moved.”The unintentional Asian import, likely hitchhiking from China in packing crates, was first discovered in the Detroit area more than a decade ago and has expanded east to dozens of states and provinces and has now killed tens of millions of ash trees of all varieties.Because Minnesota has more than 1 billion ash trees, most in forests but also thousands in urban landscapes, the pest is expected to have devastating impacts here if it keeps expanding. Duluth has about 4,500 mostly green ash just on boulevards alone - nearly 1 in 5 of the trees along city streets - and thousands more ash trees in urban forests across the city. Efforts are underway to control the pests with parasitic, non-stinging wasps imported from Asia that have worked in some areas. But nothing has been found to fully stop the bugs from advancing.Emerald ash borers first were discovered on Duluth’s Park Point in October, likely jumping across the bay from Superior where they have been killing trees since at least 2013. The emerald ash borer was recently discovered near Hayward as well, and in southeastern Minnesota in 2009. 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 bug eventually hatches as a bright, emerald green flying bug that can move relatively short distances to expand the insect’s range.State officials are asking people to be on the lookout for ash borer expansion and to watch their ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to http://www.mda.state.mn.us/~/media/Files/plants/eab/eab-treeshaveit.pdf to use the “Does my tree have Emerald Ash Borer?” guide.    More tree-eating emerald ash borer bugs were found in Duluth recently and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has extended a wood quarantine to include most of southeastern St. Louis County.The latest bugs were first discovered by a tree-trimming service just north of Hartley Nature Center on Northfield Road earlier this month. They were collected by state agriculture officials and confirmed by a federal laboratory.The quarantine now covers St. Louis County from Duluth east to the Lake County border, north to the Three Lakes Road and west to U.S. Highway 53, south to the Carlton County line and east to the Wisconsin border.The quarantine makes it illegal to move ash trees, wood chips or any kind of firewood out of the quarantine area into a non-quarantine area, with experts noting that the movement of infested firewood is probably the No. 1 way emerald ash borers have been able to expand their range so fast.
“Duluth-area residents may be tempted to take firewood from within the quarantined area and transport it to cabins and campsites outside the quarantine,” said Geir Friisoe, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection Division director. “We want to stress that this wood should not be moved.”The unintentional Asian import, likely hitchhiking from China in packing crates, was first discovered in the Detroit area more than a decade ago and has expanded east to dozens of states and provinces and has now killed tens of millions of ash trees of all varieties.Because Minnesota has more than 1 billion ash trees, most in forests but also thousands in urban landscapes, the pest is expected to have devastating impacts here if it keeps expanding. Duluth has about 4,500 mostly green ash just on boulevards alone - nearly 1 in 5 of the trees along city streets - and thousands more ash trees in urban forests across the city. Efforts are underway to control the pests with parasitic, non-stinging wasps imported from Asia that have worked in some areas. But nothing has been found to fully stop the bugs from advancing.Emerald ash borers first were discovered on Duluth’s Park Point in October, likely jumping across the bay from Superior where they have been killing trees since at least 2013. The emerald ash borer was recently discovered near Hayward as well, and in southeastern Minnesota in 2009. 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 bug eventually hatches as a bright, emerald green flying bug that can move relatively short distances to expand the insect’s range.State officials are asking people to be on the lookout for ash borer expansion and to watch their ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to http://www.mda.state.mn.us/~/media/Files/plants/eab/eab-treeshaveit.pdf to use the “Does my tree have Emerald Ash Borer?” guide.  

Related Topics: WOODLANDENVIRONMENT
John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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