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New EAB discovery near Caledonia prompts renewed call to restrict firewood movement

Thu, Jul 17th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed another emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation – this time on private land near Caledonia, in southeastern Minnesota.

MDA Entomologist Mark Abrahamson says the infestation was discovered by a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources forester last Friday one mile northwest of Caledonia in a grove of trees in a cattle pasture on private land. Abrahamson confirmed the EAB infestation from photographs of the distinctive tunneling of emerald ash borer. The forester indicated that more than 20 trees were dead or nearly so, which indicates the infestation has existed there for several years or more.

This newly discovered EAB infestation is about 10 miles from previously known infestations in Houston County but is still within the official EAB quarantine area. Other Minnesota counties included in the quarantine are Hennepin, Ramsey and Winona. The quarantine is in place to help prevent EAB from spreading outside a known infested area into new areas and is designed to limit the movement of potentially infested firewood or other materials from ash trees that might harbor EAB larvae.

EAB is one of America’s most destructive tree pests. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and feeding on the tree’s nutrients. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 18 states.

MDA officials emphasize that the biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash products harboring larvae. There are three easy steps Minnesotans can take to keep EAB from spreading:

1. Don’t transport firewood. Buy and burn local firewood to prevent movement of EAB. Remember that EAB can live in cut firewood for two years before emerging.

2. Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. If you live in a quarantined county, be aware of the restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood. Details can be found online at; and,

3. Watch your ash trees for infestation. Infestation signs include one-eighth inch, D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and winding tunnels under the bark. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to and use the “Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?” checklist or call MDA at 888-545-6684 to report concerns.

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