In response to the recent infestation in Apple Valley, residents are encouraged to watch ash trees for symptoms. EAB is one of America’s most destructive tree pests. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and disrupting the flow of the tree’s water and nutrients. Since the accidental introduction of EAB into North America, it has killed millions of ash tree. The metallic-green adult beetles are a half-inch long, and are active from May to September. Infestation signs include winding tunnels under the bark, heavy woodpecker activity, bark cracking, and an overall thinning canopy year after year. One or two dead branches are not a sign of EAB.
Determining the health of a tree and level of potential EAB infestation is difficult in the early stages. It is likely that without treatment, all of the ash trees in Apple Valley and surrounding communities will ultimately become victims of EAB. The City has adopted an Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan to help mitigate the impact of the EAB disruption to the urban forest. The Plan incorporates a proactive approach to managing the impacts of EAB by utilizing education, tree removal and reforesting strategies, and some treatment by trunk injection for significant trees.
Residents who wish to treat significant or valued ash trees with a chemical injection by a licensed tree contractor should consider doing so this summer. The City will contract with a tree company to perform the injections at a reduced price on behalf of Apple Valley residents. Please check the City’s website in May for details.
The biggest risk for spreading EAB comes from people moving firewood or other ash wood products harboring EAB larvae. Dakota County is currently under both a State and Federal quarantine which prohibits the transportation of ash wood outside of the County. Please do not move firewood.
Again, residents are encouraged to watch for signs of infestation in all ash trees, public or private. If you suspect your ash tree could be infested by EAB, visit http://meda.state.mn.us/eab and use the “Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?” checklist. To report concerns contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Hotline at 888-545-6684 or email@example.com, or the City’s Natural Resources staff at 952-953-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.