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Ash seed for the future


Fri, Aug 20th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been attacking and killing ash trees in the United States. This insect, originally from Asia, was first found in southeastern Michigan. It has spread to several states, including Houston County in SE Minnesota.

The insect's larvae feed on the cambium (a thin layer of cells beneath the bark). These beautiful trees give shade and beauty to people's yards, are a part of windbreaks and are found in the areas forests. Due to the lack of an effective control for EAB, the number of ash species affected, the range of susceptible tree sizes, and that no natural resistance to EAB has been detected a seed collection program has been started. The seed will be saved until a future point in time when EAB can be controlled and both species can be reintroduced to Minnesota using locally adapted seed sources.

The University of Minnesota's Agricultural Experiment Station Rapid Response Fund is supporting a seed collection effort. In southeast Minnesota seed is needed from at least 100 natural (wild) trees. Volunteers who wish to collect ash seed should contact Mike Reichenbach at 218-726-6470. Seed collection classes can be scheduled for groups of 10 or more. About 8 to 12 cups of seed are needed from each tree. The individual trees should be 500 or more feet apart. Seed is collected after the seed ripens in mid to late September.

For more information about seed collection, visit http://forest.nrri.umn.edu/ash or contact Mike Reichenbach, Extension Educator University of Minnesota Extension 218-726-6470 or reich027@umn.edu

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