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In December of last year, the City confirmed the presence of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in two trees within Ramsey. Since EAB had been confirmed in Anoka County back 2015, there is already a state and federal quarantine in place prohibiting the movement of hardwood firewood. While the confirmed presence of EAB in Ramsey doesn’t impact the quarantine, it should hasten our diligence in looking for signs of EAB in ash trees.
EAB is a small green insect that attacks and kills all Minnesota native species of ash trees (Green Ash, White Ash, and Black Ash). The adult beetles feed on the leaves of ash trees, which causes no real harm to the tree. The real damage to ash trees comes from the EAB larvae that feed on the tissues underneath the bark and, unfortunately, by the time the damage is done, it is usually too late to save the tree(s).
Winter and early spring, before the trees leaf out, is a great time to inspect your ash trees for possible signs of EAB. Woodpecker damage is one of the best potential early indicators of EAB as they feed on EAB larvae underneath the bark. Keep an eye out for ‘blonding’ of the bark, where the grayish bark has blonde or cream colored patches as a result of woodpecker activity. Vertical cracks may also appear on the surface of the tree. EAB larvae form galleries under the bark as they feed, which can cause splits in the bark. Peeling back the bark may reveal their distinct S-shaped galleries.
The adult EAB flight season is considered to be May through September. Within this time, avoid transporting infested ash wood to different locations. Like some other pests/diseases, EAB is easily spread by transporting infested firewood. So, unless the firewood is Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) certified, do not transport it across or within Minnesota’s borders.
If you detect or think you detect EAB; note the location, take a digital photo, and contact Arrest the Pest at 888-545-6684 or by email. For more information on EAB, contact City Planner Chris Anderson at 763-433-9817, email Chris, or visit our page on EAB.