Emerald Ash Borer
Origination of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
Emerald Ash Borer, Fairmaire (Coleoptera Buprestidae), is an invasive beetle, first detected in southeastern Michigan in 2002. EAB larvae feeds on the inner bark of ash trees and attacks all species of ash trees found in Minnesota including green ash, black ash, and white ash. EAB has no natural predators in the USA and research has shown that it kills 99.7% of all ash trees common to Minnesota.
EAB in the Surrounding Area
EAB was first detected in Minnesota on May 13, 2009 in St Paul. Currently EAB has not been found in within the Saint Peter; however it is approximately 40 miles north in Scott County and 70 miles east in Dodge County, and 70 miles south in Martin County.
The City has approximately 1,000 ash trees on the public right of way which amounts to 22% of all boulevard trees. In addition, there are also large populations of ash trees on private property. EAB moves fairly slow; however, humans assist in the long distance spread of EAB by moving contaminated wood, such as bringing wood to campsites.
In the fall of 2018, the City of Saint Peter Council passed an EAB Management Plan (PDF). As part of the City commitment to resident education, communication, and outreach we want to distribute information from the EAB plan, share some EAB websites that have excellent information, and ask for your cooperation in minimizing the impacts of EAB within our urban forest.
Within the EAB management plan there are 3 important strategies to help mitigate the effects of EAB.
- The City has adopted a proactive of treatment and/or removal of ash trees, removing those in decline and those requested to be removed. The intent is to slow the spread of EAB by reducing certain host trees.
- The City shall consider pesticide use for EAB on public trees to protect trees and reduce beetle populations in potential infested areas.
- Finally, replanting, as ash trees are removed, is perhaps the most important part of the EAB Management Plan. Reforestation with diverse species of young trees is the primary objective in retaining the City’s urban forest. While it is impossible to avoid pests and diseases, diversity in planting with mixed planting schemes can reduce the impact.
We are all stewards of the urban forest within Saint Peter, and the city encourages property owners to be proactive and vigilant for EAB. The more trained eyes who have knowledge of EAB the earlier it can be detected and the more management options the City will have to mitigate against EAB. There are numerous resources on EAB. Below is select list:
- Emerald Ash Borer Information Network
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Emerald Ash Borers
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Keys to Identify Ash Trees
If you suspect an ash tree has EAB, email the Public Works Department or call 934-0670.