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Plan Your EAB Response

Fri, Oct 7th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

I believe most people in Southeast Minnesota are aware that Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed two new Emerald Ash Borer infestations. A beetle was found in a purple monitoring trap in Veterans Park in La Crescent, and another one was found in a trap in Great River Bluffs State Park. The real question is, "How will this affect me?"

For those who sell wood products, including fireawood, quarantines on ash product are currently in place in Ramsey, Hennepin, Houston and Winona counties. Although both Winona and Houston Counties are quarantined it would be wise to check with Kathryne Longen, MDA Plant Protection, 651-201-6245, kathryne.longen@state.mn.us before moving firewood from Houston to Winona. It is also possible the rules will be changed to allow movement to Wisconsin, as that is also in the quarantine area. Once again, check with MDA before moving wood.

The home owner has the difficult decision of treating Ash trees or replacing them. The general recommendation is to not start treatment unless EAB is within 15 miles. If treatment is chosen, be aware that it is a long term commitment. Insecticide treatments will be needed for the rest of the tree's life. Most of the products are best applied in mid to late spring. Some products can be applied by the tree owner, while others need to be applied by professionals. There is an excellent publication to help with your decision. Emerald Ash Borer: Homeowners Guide to Insecticide Selection, Use, and Environmental Protection that is available through University of Minnesota Extension, MDA and DNR.

If you chose to replace your ash trees, there is a list: Recommended Trees for Southeast Minnesota available at: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/dd6574.html.

With this list is the "Tree Planting Rule-of-Thumb." No more than 10 percent of any species, no more than 20 percent of any genus, and no more than 30 percent of any family. We don't want to keep repeating the problems we created when Dutch elm disease wiped out the Elm trees, and we replaced them with mainly Ash trees.

On the positive side, in a coordinated response, DNR and MDA have conducted biocontrol efforts, releasing stingless wasps in the state park. I would like to emphasis the word "stingless" as the wasp are not the type that can sting us. Like most biocontrols, they will not achieve 100 percent control, but rather slow the spread of EAB.

For those seeking more information on EAB, there are two more meetings scheduled: Dakota, MN, 220 Golden Rule Rd, October 6, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and Winona, MN, Winona City Hall, 207 Lafayette Street, October 10, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

All the publications sited above, plus much more information is available at: http://www.extension.umn.edu/issues/eab.

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