Posts tagged ‘forest health’

Comments sought on state invasive species management plan

(Released by Minnesota DNR on September 3, 2009)

A draft Minnesota Statewide Invasive Species Management Plan (PDF) is now available for public review and comment until Sept. 22.

The plan was developed by the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council, co-chaired by the Minnesota’s departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Agriculture.

It is designed to provide a framework for addressing both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species issues in Minnesota.

The plan includes strategies and actions to address the main issues related to invasive species: prevention of new introductions into the state; early detection and rapid response to new introductions; containment of populations; and management of established populations to reduce their harm.

This draft plan reflects several years of work by many organizations from the local, state and federal government levels and a number of nongovernmental organizations.

“It will be a good framework for addressing the invasive species issue,” said Jay Rendall, DNR invasive species prevention coordinator. “However, we want to have more input on strategies and actions that could be taken in the future.”

Comments from individuals and organizations will be used to refine and expand the actions identified in the draft plan. When completed, the plan will also provide opportunities for improved coordination and partnerships between federal, state and local governments, tribes, conservation organizations and others working to minimize the impacts caused by invasive species in the state.

The draft plan and information about submitting comments is available on the DNR Web site. Printed copies can be requested by calling 651-259-5100. Written comments can be submitted in writing to Invasive Species Program, Minnesota DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155, or by e-mail.

September 8, 2009 at 8:26 am 2 comments

Minnesota forest insect & disease updates

Just a quick post in case you missed it: The Minnesota DNR, Division of Forestry has published the June 2009 Forest Insect & Disease Newsletter (PDF).  This is by far the best source of timely, quality information on insect and disease issues in the Minnesota woods. This summer’s issue includes a play-by-play of the discovery of emerald ash borer in the Twin Cities this spring.

The list of articles from the June 2009 issue is below.

  • Emerald ash borer found in Minnesota
    • Play-by-play
    • Updated firewood restrictions in on state land
  • Another cool and protracted spring
    • Winter injury of Colorado blue spruce
    • Two-lined chestnut borers
    • Forest tent caterpillars are at it again
    • Oak anthracnose
    • Ash plant bug and ash anthracnose
    • Bumper crop of seeds
    • Summer shorts
  • Heads-up
    • Approved firewood vendor applications now
      need to be renewed
    • Tick-borne diseases
  • Publications
    • Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota
    • IPM for Home Apple Growers
  • Feature Article
    • Wolves in sheep’s clothing: Outbreaks of
      previously obscure native forest
  • Handy and helpful websites for Forest Health

Read it now: June 2009 Forest Insect & Disease Newsletter (PDF)

July 23, 2009 at 8:41 am 2 comments

New publication: Diseases of spruce trees in Minnesota

Announcement received today from Michelle Grabowski:

Lirula needle blight. Photo by P. Hennon,

Lirula needle blight. Photo by P. Hennon,

Just wanted to let you know about a new tree resource. With the help of Cyndy Ash Kanner, and reviews from Joe O’Brien of the USDA Forest Service and Jim Walla of NDSU, we now have a new publication on diseases of spruce trees including photos, id info, biology and management. The spruce diagnostic tool will be coming soon and will link directly to this pub for management info.

Click here to read Diseases of Spruce Trees in Minnesota.

June 17, 2009 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

Emerald ash borer discovered in St Paul, MN

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has announced that EAB has been discovered in St Paul, Minnesota.  There’s a news conference at 3:30 today at Hampden Park in St Paul.  (via @mnagriculture on Twitter).  We’ll provide updates as we’re able.

Extension’s EAB page has links to help Minnesota landowners and citizens prepare for EAB.

Update: MDA has a press release on the Minnesota EAB discovery here.

More about Emerald Ash Borer:

May 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

EAB discovery prompts Houston County ash quarantine

On April 22, the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture announced a state quarantine on firewood, ash trees, and ash tree products in Houston County. The precautionary measure is designed to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer, a highly destructive tree pest recently discovered just across the Mississippi River from Houston County. Read the full announcement here.

MDA and DNR officials urge all Minnesota citizens to take several steps to help keep EAB from spreading:

  • Don’t transport firewood, even within Minnesota. Don’t bring firewood along on a camping trip.
  • Don’t buy or move firewood from outside Minnesota.
  • Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. If you suspect your ash tree could be infested by EAB, visit and use the “Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?” (PDF) checklist on the MDA’s EAB web page.

For more on the recent discovery, see the announcement and many links in our April 7 post: EAB discovered in Wisconsin, a mile from Minnesota.

May 11, 2009 at 7:49 pm Leave a comment

EAB discovered in Wisconsin, a mile from Minnesota

The following information was sent out by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on April 7.  We’re developing information to help Minnesota woodland owners plan for the expected widespread ash mortality. Meantime, see the many links below and post your thoughts here or on the discussion board.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been discovered in Victory, Wisconsin. Victory is approximately 1 mile south of the Minnesota border along the Mississippi River.

This discovery was made only last week and confirmation was made on Monday, April 6. The Wisconsin Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources have released the news of this find today, April 7. Although Wisconsin has not had much opportunity to evaluate the scale of this infestation, their initial assessment was that this was a significant infestation.

Due to the proximity of this infestation to Minnesota and Iowa, it is possible that the infestation extends into one or both states. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, along with our partners at the Department of Natural Resources, USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine and USDA Forest Service are already investigating the southeastern portion of Houston County to determine if the infestation extends into Minnesota. We expect these initial surveys to last up to four weeks. If emerald ash borer is found in Minnesota, we will activate our EAB Response Plan (PDF).

Whether or not this initial round of survey discovers EAB in Minnesota, we will be intensifying survey and outreach efforts in southeastern Minnesota during 2009.

The complete press release that is being issued in Minnesota is here. Some key points to remember about the situation are:

  1. EAB has not yet been found in Minnesota, but state and federal authorities are investigating the area.
  2. No quarantines have been established in Minnesota. A federal quarantine will be imposed in Wisconsin on the infested area.
  3. At this time we are asking the public to voluntarily not move ash wood out of Houston County. A quarantine could be placed on Houston County by Minnesota Department of Agriculture in the coming weeks.
  4. For Minnesota beyond Houston County the situation has not changed. People should be vigilant as to the condition of their trees and report suspected infestations to MDA. Movement of untreated firewood over long distances should be avoided in any part of the state.

If you have questions, please direct them to MDA’s Arrest the Pest hotline.

“Arrest the Pest” Hotline:  651-201-6684 – Metro Area or 1-888-545-6684 – Greater Minnesota. Or email

Watch MDA’s new 6-minute video on EAB:

More about Emerald Ash Borer:

April 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

MDNR’s March 2009 Forest Insect & Disease Newsletter

Passing along an announcement from the Minnesota DNR, Division of Forestry:

Greetings from MN DNR Forest Health! The March 2009 issue of the Forest Insect & Disease Newsletter, focusing on invasive species, is now available at

Highlights include:
Firewood Restriction Law
Emerald ash borer: FAQ
Emerald Ash Borer Preparedness Plan
in development
Gypsy moth treatments planned
Sirex woodwasp update
Annosus root disease
Oak wilt: Suppression Program
Diplodia levels in nursery stock continues to decrease
Feature article: Invasive species management on DNR-administered lands

If you requested a paper copy, watch for it in the mail soon.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the Forest Insect & Disease newsletter.

March 17, 2009 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

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 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 Click for original.

PA DCNR photo from 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 Click for original.

Photo by Howard Russell from 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 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

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

    Seasonal care for trees & shrubs: Health

    Keep a watchful eye for problems that may be developing on the plants in your landscape. Timely prevention is always more effective and economical than reacting to problems once they have developed. Certain samples can be sent to your local Plant Disease Clinic (.pdf) for diagnosis.

    Continue Reading April 4, 2008 at 11:49 am 1 comment

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