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Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

 

This date in 2018 kicked off Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in North Dakota. And while the pest hasn’t arrived in the state yet, it poses quite a threat, because North Dakota has more than 90 million ash trees, making it the most common tree in the state.

Besides being abundant in forests, the ash tree is commonly used in windbreaks and conservation plantings. Many communities use ash trees in beautification projects because they grow easily in our climate. In some areas, ash trees make up eighty percent of publicly planted trees.

The emerald ash borer is a small beetle that can cause enormous damage, and it only attacks ash trees. The adults lay eggs on the tree bark. When the eggs hatch, the larvae chew tunnels under the bark. This causes stress and attracts more ash borer beetles. The ash borer can kill a tree in two years.

The pest originally came from Asia. In the United States it was first identified in the Detroit area. It was once thought that the cold would protect northern areas, but that has proven false. The beetle now infects thirty-three states, including Minnesota. It has also been found in Manitoba, only sixty-five miles from the North Dakota border.

Once the beetle invades an area, it is nearly impossible to eradicate it. People have aided its invasion by moving infected firewood from one place to another. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture urges people to avoid transporting firewood. Buy only local firewood. Moving uncertified firewood out of areas under quarantine for the emerald ash borer is a federal offense.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has been concerned about the ash borer for many years. It started surveying for the beetle in 2008. More than eight hundred traps have been set in cities, state parks, campgrounds, and rest stops. Fortunately, the pest has not yet turned up. But it is important to remain vigilant. If anyone suspects their trees are infected by the ash borer, they should contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

Dakota Datebook written by Carole Butcher

Sources:

North Dakota Department of Agriculture. “Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is May 20-26.” https://www.nd.gov/ndda/news/emerald-ash-borer-awareness-week-may-20-26-0  Accessed 5/19/2020.

North Dakota Department of Agriculture. “Emerald Ash Borer Found in Winnipeg.” https://www.nd.gov/ndda/news/emerald-ash-borer-found-winnipeg-0  Accessed 5/19/2020.

North Dakota State University Crop and Pest Report. “Emerald Ash Borer a Giant Leap Closer to North Dakota (5/3/18).” https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/cpr/forestry/emerald-ash-borer-a-giant-leap-closer-to-north-dakota-05-03-18  Accessed 5/19/2020.

North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Conversation with author, 4/21`/2020.

 

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