Emerald Ash Borer in Minnesota

Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash BorerCourtesy USDA
I went to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum this morning with my mom and daughter. Arboretums are awesome in general, but especially this time of year when all the spring blooms are in full effect. It was fun. One bit of news I learned while I was there was a bit of a bummer though, the Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Minnesota.

Minnesota has more ash trees than any other kind of tree and has the second highest number of ash trees in the nation after Maine.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive species that is native to Asia that was first discovered in the US in Michigan in 2002. The adult borers are not very harmful to trees, but the larvae are very harmful, eating the underside of the tree's bark and disrupting the flow of water and nutrients.

Many ash trees were planted to replace trees lost to Dutch Elm Disease in cities and towns, which was the big tree disease when I was a kid. Interestingly, Dutch Elm Disease was also spread by an invasive Asian beetle, though in the case of Dutch Elm it was a fungus the beetles spread that was harmful to the trees, not the beetles themselves. With over 7.5 billion ash trees in the US the Emerald Ash Beetle has the potential to be far more destructive. The good news is that the borers seem to spread slowly - but the bad news is that when a tree is infested it is usually dead within a year.

To learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer, follow the links in this blog. Click here to learn how to identify the Emerald Ash Borer.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Arbor Doctor's picture

The article that you have written is very factual. Emerald ash borers kill ash trees fairly slowly in relation to every other disease. It takes three years for eab to kill an ash tree. While other diseases like dutch elm disease can kill an american elm in a part of a year.

It should be known that there are good preventative measures to help the spread of emerald ash borer. All including not moving ash wood as well as treatments on valuable ash trees will help save homeowners trees. Look for certified arborists to treat ash trees.

posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 7:04pm
arbordoctor's picture
arbordoctor says:

The article is well written but I must say the idea that a tree is dead in a year is completely false. If a tree gets emerald ash borer it usually takes about tree years for the tree to die. Just like its cousin the Two-Lined Chestnut borer that kills our oak trees. THe problem is that it is hard to tell in the first year that your tree has the insect infecting it. The best idea is to chemically treat valuable ash trees withing a certain milage of the infested sites. This keeps the trees healthy. Now if only we could get the state to do the same thing.

Arbor Doctor

posted on Wed, 09/15/2010 - 12:39pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Why is this a good solution? Don't these treatments need to be continually applied, for, like, ever? At a time when cities are struggling to balance their budgets how can they take on these long term expenses? I don't like seeing the ash trees in my neighborhood being cut down, but I understand why.

posted on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 9:43am
KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

What is a "valuable" ash tree? I'm with Joe on the political INfeasibility of chemically treating such trees. What I would rather see is a regional or national policy on preventing invasive species in the first place. Tighter regulation on ballast water, for example, or enforcement of the "burn it where you buy it" firewood rules. Stuff like that.

posted on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 4:01pm

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