Posts tagged ‘EAB’

Emerald ash borer and the future of the Minnesota woods

By Steve Katovich, US Forest Service, St Paul, with contributions from Mike Reichenbach, University of Minnesota Extension

Ash mortality from EAB, Ann Arbor MI. Steve Katovich photo.

Ash mortality from EAB, Ann Arbor MI. Steve Katovich photo from forestryimages.org. Click for original.

In 2002, a small emerald green beetle native to Asia was found killing ash trees in the Detroit area.  The beetle was given the common name “emerald ash borer” or EAB for short. It had apparently arrived on infested pallet wood or crating material, perhaps as far back as the early 1990’s.  The infestation spread undetected for 10 years.  Surveys in 2002 quickly confirmed a massive infestation with almost every ash tree in the Detroit metro area affected.

An ash tree in Ely brightens the local landscape in September. Steve Katovich photo.

An ash tree in Ely brightens the local landscape in September. Steve Katovich photo.

Since then, EAB populations have been found in 10 states and 2 Canadian provinces.  Of greatest concern is the transport of infested firewood from Illinois, north of Milwaukee, and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  By transporting firewood, visitors from these areas could very easily initiate EAB outbreaks here in Minnesota.  Beetles could also arrive on an infested nursery trees or perhaps in logs arriving at a mill.

EAB is a tremendous tree killer, and Minnesota woods include a huge ash component in both rural and urban forests.  In fact, EAB is proving to be such an efficient killer that it seems likely that few ash trees will populate our landscape in the future.

PA DCNR photo from forestryimages.org. Click for original.

PA DCNR photo from forestryimages.org. Click for original.

At this time, the best strategy is to delay EAB’s arrival as long as possible. Given enough time, researchers may yet uncover some key tools that will even out the battle between the insect and ash trees.  Homeowners can help.  Firewood should be obtained and burned locally.  It is not a good practice to transport firewood long distances.  Even within Minnesota it would be prudent to avoid transporting firewood from the Twin Cities to a cabin or campground. The Michigan experience has shown a number of state wide campgrounds were infested with EAB, as a result of firewood transport.

Despite our best efforts, EAB will eventually arrive in Minnesota.  It would be best if any new introductions were found early.  Everyone is encouraged to report unusual ash tree mortality.  Extensive woodpecker activity on ash trees can be a sign that EAB larvae are active under the bark.  This is most easily observed in the late winter when bark flakes cover the snow and the stripped bark stands out against a white background.

Photo by Howard Russell from forestryimages.org. Click for original.

Photo by Howard Russell from forestryimages.org. Click for original.

Minnesota landowners with ash do not need to panic. It will likely be years before EAB begins to impact Minnesota forests.  But, it might be wise to rethink long term management plans for stands that have an extensive ash component. Rather than waiting for EAB to arrive, some early stand intervention could reduce the risk of extensive tree mortality. The insect attacks both healthy and weak trees, there’s little that can be done to create resilient stands.  Landowners can take advantage of management actions planned in their woodland to harvest trees before the insect reaches Minnesota.  After the insect is in MN quarantines may make it difficult to transport harvested logs.

Get involved!
Consider enrolling as an EAB First Detector.  Trainings are coming up throughout Minnesota this spring. Details on upcoming trainings are on our class calendar and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s EAB website.

Three great sources of EAB information are http://emeraldashborer.info and the MDA website, and an excellent guide for what to do if you see EAB.

If you think you may have EAB on your property or in your woodpile, immediately contact the Arrest the Pest hotline: 651-201-6684 in the Metro Area or 888-545-6684 in Greater Minnesota.  You can also email Arrest.The.Pest@state.mn.us.

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March 5, 2009 at 12:56 pm 1 comment

New invasive species info from MNDNR

[It’s been a busy morning!  I just received this notice from Sue Burks at MN DNR. -ed.]

Just to let you know we have posted several pieces on the web for your reference.

1. The Division Invasive Species guidelines are listed on the Forest Health page.

2. You’ll also find there the SFI Minnesota Invaders brochure, a nice general publication for your clients.

3. On the right of the Forest Health page, you can also find a link to logger information.  It brings you to the timber brochure on invasive species.

You can print the complete brochure by clicking “complete brochure” on the bottom of the picture to the right.  On the brochure, are links back to the Invasive Species guidelines and to my email if you have any questions.

4. Note that on the Forest Health page, you can find information on some exotic insects and diseases and on the Division of Ecological Resources website you can find info on exotic plants.

5. One other reference not on our website, but elsewhere is a publication put out by IATP on invasive plants in Minnesota.

    Happy reading.

    Susan Burks
    MNDNR Forestry Invasive Spp Prog Coord

    February 10, 2009 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

    Collecting Minnesota ash seed: 2009 update

    Update: September 2009

    Emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive species, threatens to kill Minnesota’s ash trees. In response, Andrew David, a University of Minnesota forest genetics researcher, and Mike Reichenbach, forestry educator with University of Minnesota Extension, began a project to protect the genetic diversity of ash in Minnesota.

    Black ash stand near Cohasset, MN

    Black ash stand near Cohasset, MN

    Seed collected from wild-grown ash trees will be sent to one of three seed storage facilities in Colorado, Georgia or Iowa depending on the amount of seed collected. This seed collection effort is a proactive response to the presence of EAB in Minnesota and the upper Great Lakes region. This conservation effort will preserve the genetic variation for a future point in time when EAB can be controlled and ash species can be reintroduced to Minnesota using locally adapted seed sources.

    How to collect and contribute seed

    UMN Assistant Scientist Egon Humenberger with green ash seed collected in 2008.

    UMN Assistant Scientist Egon Humenberger with green ash seed collected in 2008.

    Ash seed has been ripening all summer and will be ready to pick when the seed cavity is completely filled and the seed coat is brown.  Collection of seed typically begins about September 21st and can continue through much of the fall.  Black ash seed is the hardest to collect because it is difficult to judge ripeness and the seed begins to fall with the leaves.  The best time to collect black ash seed is from 1 week prior to leaf fall to approximately 2 weeks after all leaves have dropped.

    In contrast green ash seed will remain on the tree for awhile after the leaves have fallen allowing collections into late fall.  It will be easier to collect from trees before the seed is scattered by winds and rain. Persons wishing to collect seed should watch the ash seed collection webinar found listed under the webinars tab at http://forest.nrri.umn.edu/ash.  The ash seed collection form can also be downloaded here.

    Value of ash to Minnesota; ongoing threat of EAB
    Minnesota is host to three species of ash: white ash, green ash and black ash. While white ash is an upland species found along the Mississippi River in southeast Minnesota; both black and green ash are common lowland hardwoods found throughout the majority of the state. Ecologically, black and green ash are the most important hardwoods in the lowland forest community. They represent 51 percent of the lowland hardwood cover type in Minnesota. Black ash is very important in native cultures as a source of wood for ash baskets. Both black and green ash provide a source of pallet, saw and veneer logs.  All of Minnesota’s native ash species are threatened by EAB.

    EAB was most likely introduced to the region when it was transported on wood packaging of an overseas shipment from Asia in 2002 to the Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario area. Within the United States the insect is most often transported on firewood. As of August, EAB has been found in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ontario, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It has been responsible for the death of over 20 million ash trees despite quarantines on moving nursery stock and firewood out of infected areas.

    This conservation effort will preserve the genetic variation for a future point in time when EAB can be controlled and ash species can be reintroduced to Minnesota using locally adapted seed sources.

    Click for much more information on emerald ash borer in Minnesota. To get involved in seed collection, contact Mike Reichenbach, (888) 241-0724, reich027@umn.edu; or Gary Wyatt, (888) 241-3214, wyatt@umn.edu,  both with University of Minnesota Extension.

    September 16, 2008 at 10:44 am 10 comments

    Forest health: Insects

    A review of categories of insects affecting tree and forest health: Defoliators, borers, sap-sucking insects, root-feeding insects, cone- and seed-destroying insects, and non-native invaders.

    Continue Reading April 29, 2007 at 7:27 pm Leave a comment

    Forest Health: Overview

    Forest health is affected by insect outbreaks, diseases, invasive species, regeneration, fire ecology, natural disturbance, and many other factors.

    Fungal growth on birch: Jim Frazier photo

    Fungal growth on birch: Jim Frazier photo

    Not all insects and diseases are bad. Native insects and diseases are a normal part of a healthy forest. An example is the periodic defoliation events from forest tent caterpillars (armyworms). Minnesota forests evolved in the presence of these bugs, and they recover quickly from outbreaks.

    On the other hand, non-native, introduced insects, diseases, and plant species pose a serious threat. Invasives must be addressed quickly. Diseases like Dutch elm disease, shrub species like buckthorn, and new invasive insects like Gypsy moth and emerald ash borer can cause serious forest health problems. It’s critical that landowners learn to identify these species quickly and keep their woodlands healthy and free from invaders to the greatest degree possible.

    The pages in this section are designed to provide basic information about forest health issues in Minnesota. Probably the best source of forest health information in Minnesota is the Forest Insect & Disease Newsletter, published by the MN DNR Division of Forestry.

    As more and more invasives enter our woods, forest health can seem daunting at times. But it’s important that we all maintain vigorous, healthy native woodlands to the greatest degree we can. Most forest health threats are far easier to prevent than to eradicate once they’re established. Good luck! Your neighbors, as well as future generations, will thank you for it.


    April 29, 2007 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

    Woodland invasive species in Minnesota

    Some of the most common invasive species in Minnesota’s woods include buckthorn, garlic mustard, Dutch elm disease and the emerald ash borer. Others that might not come to mind could be earthworms or Gypsy moths. All of these species are non-native and are causing significant damage in Minnesota’s forests. You can find identification guides to common invasive species at the DNR invasive species index.

    Continue Reading April 29, 2007 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

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