The invasive insect can harm ash forests across Minnesota. The state has the largest concentration of ash trees in the United States.
Emerald Ash Borer, a devastating, invasive insect has been found in the city of Duluth and it poses a huge threat for the millions of acres of ash forests in Minnesota.
It is first time that the destructive pest has been discovered in Northern Minnesota, though, the presence was not unexpected. The insect has already caused a lot of chaos in neighboring city across the bay, Superior two years ago.
Emerald ash borer in larval stage has been spotted in many ash trees alongside long, narrow beach landform of Park Point.
“This area has been a focus of ours for several years, ever since the discovery of EAB just across the border in Superior, Wisconsin in August 2013,” said Mark Abrahamson, entomologist from Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). “Now that we found the insect, we can work with our partners in the city of Duluth and St. Louis County, and residents and businesses to take measures to slow its spread in the Northern part of the state.”
Minnesota has the largest concentration of ash trees in the country. Therefore, a state of emergency is expected to be declared by MDA in the wake of potential outbreak of the pest. Currently 11 counties in Minnesota are under quarantine to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. The focus is pretty much on Park Point which is confirmed infected with the insect. By separating the area and limiting the movement of any items that may harbor EAB, like ash trees, ash limbs, hardwood and firewood, the Department of Agriculture is trying to eliminate the spread in other parts of the state.
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Emerald ash borer is a half inch long metallic green beetle. The insect feeds on the inner bark of ash trees and disrupts tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. It probably arrived in United States through solid wood packing material from China and since 2002; the insect has killed millions of ash trees across the country including Detroit and Wisconsin.