Emerald Ash Borer
About the Pest
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive pest introduced from Asia which attacks and kills ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). This metallic wood boring beetle was first found in Detroit, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. It is believed to have arrived in shipping crates. Since the initial discovery, it has also been identified in Anoka County.
Destructive Potential of the Disease
The destructive potential of EAB is enormous because there is currently no known cure. Minnesota has 900 million ash trees vulnerable to Emerald Ash Borer.
EAB kills trees over a period of 1 to 4 years depending on the size of the tree. It is the larval stage that does the damage. Larvae lives under tree bark and feed in the tissue layer directly beneath the bark. As the larvae develop they create tunnels throughout this tissue layer. This activity kills the tree by stopping the flow of water and nutrients.
Diebeck of the Tree Canopy
The most prominent symptom of EAB is dieback of the tree canopy. It is not unusual for as many as 1/2 of a tree's branches to dieback during the first year of attack. The tree tries to compensate for this loss by sprouting new growth below the level of infestation. At this time the bark may begin to split. Eventually the adult beetles emerge from the bark. In the process of emerging as adults, they leave a "D" shaped exit hole that is about 1/8th inch wide.
Transporting EAB Pests
Adult EABs can fly at least a 1/2 mile from the tree where they emerge. However, the most likely way EAB is transported is by people moving ash logs, ash firewood, or infested ash trees from nurseries. This is one of the reasons the Coon Rapids Forestry Division has stopped planting ash trees. Learn about the city's efforts to Remove Ash Trees (PDF).
Dealing With EAB
The lead agency in Minnesota for preparing for and dealing with EAB is the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is a key player as well. Cities and counties will be working together with these agencies to coordinate efforts which will create consistent programs. This will help in Minnesota's efforts in protecting ash trees from EAB.
What the City of Coon Rapids is Doing
The Coon Rapids Forestry Division is proactively removing boulevard Ash Trees in poor condition where appropriate and replanting trees of other varieties. This helps to spread out the costs of replacement and manage the challenge in a timely fashion. Ash trees with major defects such as split trunks and large dead branches are considered first for removal. Other considerations for removal include poor structure, trees in decline due to old age, or trees too large for their current location. New trees will be planted the following spring keeping species diversity in mind. There is no cost or special billing for this service. If you would like to have your boulevard ash tree removed and replaced or if you have any tree related concerns, call the City Forester at 763-767-6455.