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MDA urges homeowners to follow EAB quarantine rules as they clean up after storms


Tue, Jun 29th, 2010
Posted in State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. - As Minnesotans clean up after recent storms, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding residents of Hennepin, Ramsey and Houston Counties to avoid moving ash trees and branches out of their counties due to the risk that the materials may be infested with emerald ash borer (EAB) larvae.



EAB has killed millions of ash trees in affected states since its accidental introduction into North America. The metallic-green adult beetles are a half inch long, and are active from May to September. Hennepin, Ramsey and Houston Counties have confirmed infestations of the extremely destructive tree pest, and the three counties have ash quarantines in place to slow the spread of the pest into other areas. The quarantines prohibit the movement of potentially infested items such as ash limbs, branches, and logs out of affected counties.



While the quarantine means residents cannot move ash tree waste out of the affected counties, they still have good options for disposal. MDA encourages homeowners to contact their city public works office or their waste removal service to determine local policies on picking up tree waste. For homeowners without waste removal service or whose service does not accept tree waste, MDA has compiled a list of convenient sites that accept residential tree waste in the quarantined counties. The list is available on the MDA web page at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/en/plants/pestmanagement/eab/ashtreewaste.aspx



According to MDA Plant Protection Director Geir Friisoe, anyone violating an EAB quarantine is subject to a civil penalty of up to $7,500 per violation. However, Friisoe notes that enforcement action is generally unnecessary since most people are eager to help prevent the spread of EAB.



"The number one way emerald ash borer moves to new areas is when people accidentally help it spread by moving infested wood products like ash limbs or firewood," Friisoe said. "Since we implemented the quarantines last year, we've been pleased to see strong support from Minnesotans in the affected counties. They understand that the choices they make help strengthen our efforts to control this pest."



For more information about EAB and the state's response to this environmental threat, please visit the MDA website at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab.aspx.

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