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Willmar, Minn., to host workshop on invasive pests in rural landscapes

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WILLMAR -- Willmar will host a workshop looking at five invasive species which may cause damage to rural areas such as ours.

It will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday in Willmar at the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Office on the MinnWest Technology Campus.

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The workshop is one of three being conducted in rural areas by the University of Minnesota Extension.

Invasive species are non-native pests which can affect natural eco-systems and cause economic or environmental harm or affect human health.

The workshop will examine:

- Emerald ash borer, an insect affecting Ash trees in windbreaks and rural communities;

- Thousand cankers disease, a disease spread by an insect affecting black walnut found in native woodlands, communities and windbreaks;

- Brown marmorated stink bug, an insect affecting more than 300 plants including apple trees, grapes, corn and soybeans;

- Buckthorn, a small tree which is host to the over wintering soybean aphid;

- Oriental bittersweet, an invasive vine.

Buckthorn and oriental bittersweet are woody plants and extremely invasive. They change the understory environment of windbreaks and woodlands.

Workshop topics will include history, life cycle, identification, damage and control. Free handouts will also be available. Learn how to correctly identify and control these pests to promote healthy woodlands and Minnesota landscapes.

Registration is $20. Advance registration is requested by contacting Kathy Eckwright, 507-389-6972 or 888-241-3214, eckwr001@umn.edu. To review other workshops visit: www.myminnesota woods.umn.edu.

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