Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation

Emerald Ash Borer - About the EAB

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MN Department of Agriculture
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University of Minnesota Extension




Emerald Ash Borer - About the EAB*
by Vera Krischik, University of Minnesota Department of Entomology

You can protect MN ash trees:
Do not move firewood and nursery stock from infested areas to MN


History of spread of emerald ash borer (EAB)
1990 introduced in packing wood, unknown location
2002 found in Detroit, MI and Windsor, CA
2003 Ohio
2003 Maryland, area quarantine and detected again in 2006
2004 Northern Indiana
2006 Northern Illinois
2007 Eastern Pennsylvania, West Virginia
2008 Ozaukee and Washington County, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Virginia

History of exotic EAB
Emerald ash borer (EAB) probably arrived in the United States from Asia on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes. EAB was discovered in Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario in summer of 2002. Emerald ash borer became established in Ohio in 2003, northern Indiana in 2004, and northern Illinois in 2006. It has been found in western Pennsylvania in 2007, and in Wisconsin, Missouri, and Virginia in 2008. Larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. EAB is in the insect family Buprestidae, which consists of many native MN borers, such as bronze birch borer, two-lined chestnut borer, and flat-headed apple tree borer. However, American ash trees are very susceptible to EAB.

EAB has spread to 40,000 square acres and killed more than 50 million ash trees in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Tree replacements cost in Ohio were estimated to be between 0.3 and 1.3 billion dollars. It is estimated by the OHIO DNR that costs over the next 10 years from removing dead trees could be 3 billion dollars (Ohio DNR, EAB Factsheet). EAB caused regulatory agencies and the USDA to enforce quarantines (Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) and fines to prevent potentially infested ash trees, logs or hardwood firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs. Regulatory activities cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries tens of millions of dollars.

Threat to Minnesota
Minnesota is very vulnerable to EAB. It has the third largest population of ash trees in the US (867 million ash trees on forestland). Ash is used as pulpwood in paper mills and wood products plants in Minnesota, and for products like baseball bats and axe handles. Although MN has a state law to prevent the movement of unapproved firewood into any state park, state forest or day-use area. (M.S. 89.551 Sec. 2 Subd.3b) and there is a firewood labeling program (MN Stat. 2006, Chapter 239, Weights and Measures), many people to not realize the impact of firewood movement on the spread of EAB. Every MN citizen needs to understand what they can do to stop the spread of emerald ash borer into Minnesota.

1. Know what EAB looks like.
2. Inspect dying ash for insect pests.
3. Do not move nursery stock or firewood from infested areas into MN.
4. Educate yourself at the MDA EAB homepage at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab.htm

What keeps EAB from killing ash where it originated?
Manchurian ash, Fraxinus mandshurica, a tree native to northern Asia, where EAB originated was attacked to a lesser degree and showed much less dieback than native ash in studies in Michigan. In Asia, EAB outbreaks are isolated and associated with stressful events such as drought.

A field trial was planted May 2003 at Michigan State University’s Tollgate Education Center in Novi, Mich. Novi is in the middle of southeast Michigan’s core infestation area, where EAB has killed more than 6 million ashes. The planting included 125 ash trees of  two cultivars of the native green ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Patmore and Marshall’s Seedless), two cultivars of the native white ash, Fraxinus americana (Autumn Blaze and Autumn Purple), a hybrid between native black ash and Manchurian ash (Northern Treasure), and Manchurian ash. All trees are 3-5 years old and range in height between seven and 10 feet. Four years later 64 percent of the green ashes, 51 percent of the white ashes, 85 percent of the Northern Treasure hybrids, and 11 percent of the Manchurian ashes were dead.

What You Can Do
The USDA is investigating all ways to manage EAB in infested areas. The best management for MN is to keep EAB out. Please do your part to save our ash trees and forests. Visit the EAB homepage at the MDA http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab.htm
Work your way thought the checklist so you can identify EAB and its damage. If after going through the checklist  you think you need to talk to someone, then contact the “Arrest the Pest" Hotline at 651.201.6684 Metro Area, or 1.888.545.6684  for the Greater Minnesota Area or  send an email  to Arrest.The.Pest@state.mn.us

If you suspect a possible EAB infestation, call the MDA "Arrest the Pest Hotline" at 651.201.6684 Metro Area, or 1.888.545.6684 Greater Minnesota or send an e-mail to Arrest.The.Pest@state.mn.us

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The mission of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is to promote the green industry in Minnesota through support of research, education and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere. The MTGF pursues its mission in various ways. One of these is an annual "Call For Proposals," titled the "MTGF Research Gift Program," whereby researchers, instructors and outreach faculty and staff involved in turf and grounds work may submit requests for unrestricted gifts to support their activities. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, funding approved by the MTGF will not be subjected to overhead or other indirect charges or costs. The dates for submission, review and approval may change on an annual basis as well as the protocol stipulated for the submission of gift requests.

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