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Second Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Discovered in Olmsted County

Created: 08/27/2014 11:22 PM KAALtv.com
By: Meghan Reistad

(ABC 6 News) -- Last week, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed the first Emerald Ash Borer infestation in Olmsted County. Now, there’s been another confirmed case, about five miles north of the first location, near Rochester’s city limits.

“This year we had more looking sick so I we decided to take the bark off of one of them and, sure enough, they were infested,” said Property Owner Grand Hunder.

The insects have infested at least 30 trees on Hunder’s property, leaving him with major cleanup.

“Cut the trees down and in any of the larger areas that are infected, it’s a lot of work but, they ask that you can debark the logs,” said Hunder.

Prior to last week, the closes Emerald Ash Borer infestation was 45 miles away in Winona County. Now that more cases are being detected, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture held a public meeting in Caledonia to talk about the issue.

“With the new finds, it’s a good time to give people a little more information about what’s going on and learn a little bit more about this pest,” said Mark Abrahamson from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Right now, most of the state is not infected. Unfortunately, it is still spreading.

“The best way to deal with emerald ash borer is to not have it and most of the state does not so we want to keep it that way as long as we can,” said Abrahamson. “You’re going to end up with using an insecticide, removing the tree or having it die and fall apart, that’s just kind of the inevitability of it, one of those three things will happen.”

Along with taking care of Ash trees, Abrahamson says it is crucial to follow quarantines on firewood.

“You can’t take firewood out of the county because that’s a way that emerald ash borer has been spread time and time again in the past,” said Abrahamson. “It’s something to take seriously. If you do have ash trees you should pay attention to what their condition is, and most of all, don’t take firewood out of the county.”

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture plans to meet again to discuss the issue in Olmsted County. At this time, the date and location has not been determined.