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St Paul (KROC AM News) - A southeast Minnesota county has become the latest in the state to be invaded by the devastating emerald ash borer.

A worker who was performing “tree maintenance” near the town of Alden discovered signs of EAB and contacted the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The infestation was confirmed and that made Freeborn County the 28th county in Minnesota to be affected by the insect that has destroyed tens of millions of trees.

Minnesota Dept of Agriculture
Minnesota Dept of Agriculture


The MDA says because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Freeborn County, it has enacted an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. The quarantine will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.

Two virtual open houses for residents and tree care professionals in the county will be held on Wednesday, August 11. Experts from the MDA will give a brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

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. Often, the trees show several signs of infestation because of this. Woodpeckers like to feed on EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of emerald ash borer. Also, the EAB tunneling can cause the bark to split open, revealing characteristic S-shaped galleries underneath.

Check here for more info on the EAB.

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