GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - For three main reasons, the emerald ash borer is top of mind for state agriculture experts.
"We are kind of in the middle of a heavy EAB infestation," states Geir Friisoe, the Plant Protection Division Director for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
In addition to this being the prime season, is the influx of storm damaged trees. The trees' fresh wounds are the invitation an emerald ash borer needs to begin a new infestation.
The third risk factor is concern over the spread of the pest.
"Everybody is trying to move the branches off their house and everything and that really puts a lot of risk on that material being moved to new areas where it would spread the infestation," Friisoe said.
Hennepin, Ramsey, Winona or Houston counties are under quarantine, which means it's illegal to transport not just ash, but any hardwood across county lines.
"They're grinding it up into these little pieces and that ensures that the emerald ash borer can't survive," Friisoe said of an approved drop sites within the quarantined counties,
Those little pieces are less than an inch in diameter and will be sold commercially as mulch.
To find a drop site visit the MDA's list of ash tree waste disposal sites. The list includes site for commercial and residential use.
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