Emerald Ash Borer Found in Olmsted County

Updated: 08/20/2014 11:08 PM
Created: 08/20/2014 3:49 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has confirmed the first emerald ash borer infestation in Olmsted County.

State officials say the infestation was discovered near the interchange of Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 63. The infested trees are approximately 45 miles away from the nearest know EAB infestation in Winona County.

"Usually when they find it, it's already been around for 3 to 5 years so I imagine it's been in that area for quite a few years," said Jon Marx with Arborists of Rochester.  "It can move at a rate of about 15 miles per year so I guess I would be concerned."

As a result of the discovery, state and federal officials are imposing a quarantine on Olmsted County.  The quarantine is designed to limit the movement of any items that may be infested with EAB, including ash trees and ash tree limbs, as well as all hardwood firewood.

Emerald Ash Borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and feeding on the tree’s nutrients. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 24 states. It was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009.