Emerald Ash Borer Found in Caledonia

Created: 07/17/2014 11:11 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has confirmed another Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation, this time on private land near Caledonia. We spoke to the landowner and the forester who confirmed it.

Every once and a while Milton Burroughs will walk through the wooded area behind his home, but recently, he noticed something was off. "I noticed there were no new leaves growing this spring so I went up and took a closer a look and there were a lot of little holes in the bark where these bugs climb in and out," said Burroughs. He called DNR officials who confirmed those bugs to be emerald ash borers, the first confirmed infestation in that area.

"About three years ago we had a tornado that took probably 80 or 90 trees and now we got this," said Burroughs. Now, just from the emerald ash borers, Milton says he's lost 30 to 40 trees and counting.

"Our estimate is that it's been there for possibly up to 10 years," said DNR forester John Carlson. He tells us the first indication that a tree is infested, is thinning at the upper third of the tree, or if you see a bunch of "D" shaped holes in the bark.

“Typically they say a mile and a half every year is how far they can travel," said Carlson. The DNR is trying to stop the spread of these, first asking people not to transfer any ash firewood that could already have larva inside, but even with those measures, Carlson says, it’s pretty much inevitable that'll they'll spread all over. "It's a threat to completely wipe out the entire ash population," said Carlson.

"I have a lot of ash trees in the woods and some are quite large and he said it will probably take them all in time," said Milton.

DNR says you can treat these trees with insecticides, but it can get pricey and those treatments aren’t just a onetime thing. If you have any concerns that the emerald ash borer may have gotten to your trees, you're urged to call DNR.