Edina, Minn., April 16, 2018 – Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an insect that has killed millions of Ash trees across the eastern United States, has been found for the first time in Edina.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) confirmed Friday, April 13, that an Ash tree on private property in northwest Edina had been attacked by EAB larvae. The larvae tunnel and feed on the tree’s inner bark, disrupting its ability to transport water and nutrients, eventually killing the tree.
The discovery was expected after the borer had killed trees in surrounding cities, including Minneapolis, Richfield, Bloomington and Eden Prairie.
Edina has an estimated 50,000 Ash trees, most of them located on private property.
Chemical treatments are available to help protect healthy Ash trees or those minimally affected. Application must be done every two to three years.
“We are at the point where our infestation is new enough that we still have options,” City Forester Luther Overholt said. “All the trees are still treatable. Or you can remove them. If treated, they have to be treated for the lifetime of the tree.”
The City recommends anyone who has untreated Ash trees on their property to contact an arborist immediately to evaluate their options.
If you’re unsure about the trees in your yard, here are some tips:
- Be sure you’ve identified an Ash tree. This is an important first step since EAB only feeds on Ash trees. Ash have opposite branching – meaning branches come off the trunk directly across from each other. On older trees, the bark is in a tight, diamond-shaped pattern. Younger trees have a relatively smooth bark. See the Ash Tree Identification guide at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab for photos and more information.
- Look for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae and woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB.
- Check for bark cracks. EAB larvae tunneling under the bark can cause the bark to split open, revealing S-shaped or curvy tunnels underneath.
- Contact a professional. If you feel your Ash tree may be infested with EAB, contact a tree care professional immediately.
For more information on Emerald Ash Borer and treatments for it, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/eab or call the MDA at 888-545-6684. Overholt can be reached at LOverholt@EdinaMN.gov or 952-826-0308.