An exotic Asian beetle is wreaking havoc on ash trees all across the country,and Minnesota is no exception. The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic beetle indigenous to Asia. Introduced into the United States in 2002, the adult beetle causes little damage to plants when they nibble on leaves. Larvae, however, feed on the bark of ash trees, interrupting the normal flow of water and nutrients.
It can take years for EAB populations to grow large enough to infest entire trees. Once that occurs, an ash tree has virtually no chance of survival. Additionally, EAB spreads relatively fast and there is evidence of its existence in the Minneapolis – Saint Paul region. The Twin Cities has a large ash tree population, making the possibility of an infestation a huge problem.
What is the Twin Cities doing to combat this problem?
There have been no reports of emerald ash borer in Columbia Heights, but the city started taking measures to deal with them in 2011. The city started taking an inventory of ash trees on public land and worked through different areas, creating a ranking based on each tree’s condition and location.
Of the thousand-plus trees on public land, half were found to be in poor health or in a bad location. These will eventually be removed and replaced by a different type of tree. Ash trees grown on private land are the responsibility of the landowner. Treatment is a good option for prevention and countering the effects of EAB.
Preventative measures against emerald ash borer in Minneapolis
The city of Minneapolis is taking a different approach. Infected trees are marked with a green ribbon to not only increase awareness about EAB, but also to identify trees that are marked for removal. The city plans to remove large numbers of healthy ash trees as a way to stop the spread of EAB.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board reports that there are more than 30,000 ash trees on boulevards across the city and an additional 10,000 on park properties. Minneapolis carries a significant number of ash trees, calling for a more proactive approach to handling a beetle infestation.
The Park and Recreation Board plans to remove essentially all ash trees on public land in an effort to halt the spread of the exotic beetle.
Are you looking for additional information on the emerald ash borer? Try this resource: emeraldashborer.info.