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Emerald ash borer invasion expands in Minnesota

Emerald ash borer invasion expands in Minnesota

By Scout Nelson

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has recently confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in Kanabec County for the first time, alongside additional findings in Cass and Isanti counties. This brings the total count to 47 counties in Minnesota affected by EAB. 

These discoveries are the result of extensive EAB surveys conducted by the MDA in 156 communities across Minnesota. Funded by grants from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service, these surveys aim to support community efforts in forest protection. Surveying efforts are set to continue through the upcoming spring season. 

In Kanabec County, EAB infestations were located near Quamba along Highway 23. Cass County saw infestations near Hackensack, while Cambridge in Isanti County also reported new cases. 

EAB, discovered in Minnesota in 2009, poses a significant threat to ash trees by tunneling under bark, disrupting nutrient transport systems. Infestation signs include woodpecker activity feeding on larvae and the appearance of characteristic S-shaped galleries beneath split bark. 

To diminish the spread of EAB, the MDA has imposed an emergency quarantine in Kanabec County and expanded the quarantine in Isanti and Cass counties. The quarantine restricts the movement of firewood, mulch, and ash materials from the affected areas to prevent further spread. 

Residents and tree care professionals in these counties are invited to a virtual informational meeting on January 25, 2024, from 10 to 11 a.m. The MDA will provide a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. Those interested in attending can register at

The public can comment on the proposed formal quarantines for these counties through February 29, 2024. The MDA recommends the adoption of these quarantines starting March 4, 2024. Details on the proposed quarantine language are available at

This ongoing situation highlights the critical challenge posed by the emerald ash borer in Minnesota, as the state continues to take proactive measures to protect its forests and tree populations. 


Photo Credit - moneycue-canada

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