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Virtual meeting on emerald ash borer planned

Residents of Carver and Sibley counties are invited to one of two virtual informational meetings Nov. 17 regarding the discovery of emerald ash borer in the two counties, according to a press release.

On Oct. 5, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed an EAB infestation in ash trees on the Carver-Sibley County line north of the city of Belle Plaine.

Those attending one of the upcoming virtual meetings 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 meetings will be from 10 to 11 a.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Nov. 17. Those interested can pre-register at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab.

The public will also have an opportunity to provide input on the proposal to add Carver and Sibley counties to the state formal quarantine. Emergency quarantines were placed on the two counties when EAB was discovered. The MDA is taking comments on the proposed formal quarantines through Nov. 20 and recommends adopting the quarantines Nov. 30. The quarantines limit the movement of ash trees and limbs and hardwood firewood out of the 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 at 625 Robert St. N., St. Paul, MN 55155; at kimberly.tcremers@state.mn.us or by faxing 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 release stated. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation. The insect is now confirmed in 25 of the state’s 87 counties. For more information on emerald ash borer, visit the MDA website.