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Emerald ash borer reaches Kandiyohi County, prompting firewood quarantine

Emergency quarantine on wood movement put in place for portion of Kandiyohi County. The quarantine will cover the northeast corner of the county, from U.S. highways 71 and 12 on the western and southern borders, respectively, and the county line on the northern and eastern borders.

Emerald ash borer
The emerald ash borer has been found in Kandiyohi County.
Contributed / David Cappaert, Bugwood.org
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SAINT PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Kandiyohi County for the first time. There are now 35 counties in the state, including Kandiyohi, with confirmed EAB presences.

A tree care company contacted the MDA after suspecting a tree on the west side of Nest Lake near Spicer was infested with EAB. MDA staff were able to find live EAB larvae and collect samples. Federal identification confirmed emerald ash borer.

EAB was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009. The insect larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. Often, the trees show several signs of infestation because of this.

Woodpeckers like to feed on EAB larvae, and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of emerald ash borer. Also, EAB tunneling can cause the bark to split open, revealing characteristic S-shaped galleries underneath.

Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Kandiyohi County, the MDA is enacting an emergency quarantine which limits the movement of firewood and ash material out of the area. The emergency quarantine will cover the northeast corner of the county, from U.S. highways 71 and 12 on the western and southern borders, respectively, and the county line on the northern and eastern borders.

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The MDA issues quarantines for all areas known to have EAB to reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.

A virtual informational meeting for residents and tree care professionals in Kandiyohi County will be held on Wednesday, June 8, from 10 to 11 a.m. Experts from the MDA will give a brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. Register at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab

The public will also have an opportunity to provide input on the proposal to add the partial Kandiyohi County emergency quarantine to the state’s formal quarantine. The MDA is taking comments on the proposed formal quarantine now through July 8, and recommends adopting the quarantine on July 12. The proposed quarantine language can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab .

Comments can be made during the virtual meeting or by contacting: Kimberly Thielen Cremers, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 Robert Street North St. Paul, MN 55155 or by emailing kimberly.tcremers@state.mn.us

More EAB information can be found on the MDA website.

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoors reporter for the West Central Tribune.
He has been a reporter with the West Central Tribune since 1993.

Cherveny can be reached via email at tcherveny@wctrib.com or by phone at 320-214-4335.
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