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Residents invited to meeting concerning ash borer

Residents of Mower and Rice counties are invited to a virtual informational meeting on Sept. 17 regarding the discovery of emerald ash borer in the two counties, according to a press release.

On March 20, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed an EAB infestation in an ash tree in the city of Faribault in Rice County. EAB was then confirmed on April 2 near Racine in Mower County. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person meetings were not held. 

Those attending the upcoming virtual meeting will have an opportunity to learn more about EAB, local options to deal with the insect, and hear how residents and tree care professionals can limit the spread of the bug. Experts from the MDA will give a brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

The emerald ash borer virtual informational meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17. Pre-registration can be done at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab.

The public will also have an opportunity to provide input on the proposal to add Mower and Rice counties to the state formal quarantine. Emergency quarantines were placed on the two counties when EAB was discovered. The MDA will take comments on the proposed formal quarantines through Oct. 1 and recommends adopting the quarantines on October 15. The quarantines limit the movement of ash trees and limbs and hardwood firewood out of each county. The proposed quarantine language can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab.

Comments can be made during the virtual informational meeting or by contacting Kimberly Thielen Cremers with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 Robert St. N. St. Paul, MN 55155; at kimberly.tcremers@state.mn.us or by fax at 651-201-6108.

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. Minnesota is highly susceptible to the destruction caused by this invasive insect. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation. The insect is now confirmed in 23 of the state’s 87 counties. For more information on emerald ash borer, visit the MDA website.