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Quarantine implemented on firewood, ash products in Hennepin and Ramsey counties; quarantine continues in Houston County
MDA action designed to stop shipments of potentially infested products to other parts of state
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Following yesterdays' discovery of emerald ash borer (EAB) in a St. Paul neighborhood, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today issued a state quarantine on firewood, ash trees, and ash tree products in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. The measure is designed to slow the spread of EAB, a highly destructive tree pest, to other parts of the state.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of the following items out of Ramsey and Hennepin counties:
  • Firewood from hardwood (non-coniferous) species;
  • Entire ash trees;
  • Ash limbs and branches;
  • Ash logs or untreated ash lumber with bark attached; and
  • Uncomposted ash chips and uncomposted ash bark chips larger than 2 inches in diameter
Last month, MDA issued a similar quarantine for Houston County, in Minnesota’s southeast corner, in response to an EAB infestation just across the Mississippi River in Wisconsin. MDA will work with nurseries and other impacted businesses in the coming days to explain the quarantine and help minimize business disruption.

"The number one way EAB moves to new areas is when people accidentally help it spread by moving infested firewood and other products," MDA Plant Protection Director Geir Friisoe said. "This quarantine will help slow the spread of the pest and give Minnesota the best chance to protect our 900 million ash trees."

Even in counties not covered by these quarantines, officials urge all Minnesotans to follow common-sense steps to keep EAB from spreading:
  • Don’t transport firewood. Don't bring firewood along on a camping trip, and buy it where you use it.
  • Don’t buy or move firewood from outside your area for use in your home.
  • Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. If you suspect an infestation, use the "Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?" checklist on the MDA’s EAB web page at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab.aspx. You can also contact your local extension service office or a tree care company with a certified arborist on staff.
Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed millions of ash trees in 10 eastern states. The metallic-green adult beetles are a half inch long, and are active from May to September. Signs of EAB infestation include one-eighth inch, D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and serpentine tunnels packed with sawdust under the bark. EAB larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and feeding inside the tree.