What You Need to Know About Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an Asian beetle first discovered near Detroit in the summer of 2002. Adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk.
EAB is a destructive, invasive pest that is currently affecting all ash species in several states. Minnesota is highly susceptible to the destruction of EAB since there are approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state.
Recently, EAB was detected in Scott County and most likely EAB is also here in Savage, although not yet identified. As a homeowner it is important for you to:
Identify if you have ash trees on your property. This is an important first step since EAB only feeds on ash trees. Ashes have opposite branching – meaning branches come off the trunk directly across from each other. On older trees, the bark is in a tight, diamond-shaped pattern. Younger trees have a relatively smooth bark.
Look for signs of EAB. When trees begin to leaf out is the perfect time to look for signs of EAB. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae so woodpecker holes may indicate the presence of EAB. Also check for cracks in the bark; EAB larvae tunnel under the bark which can cause the bark to split open, revealing the s-shaped tunnels underneath.
Contact a professional. If you think your ash tree may be infested with EAB it is recommended to have a certified arborist inspect the tree and evaluate the tree's health and condition. When hiring a professional, ask to see their licensure as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator for category "E: Turf and Ornamentals" and verify they are a Savage registered tree contractor.
EAB Treatment Discount Program
The City of Savage has contracted with Rainbow Treecare, a professional tree care service, to provide EAB treatment for ash trees on public property for 2019-2021. Special homeowner pricing is also available through Rainbow Treecare for treatment of ash trees on private property. A citywide bulk discount of $5.75 per inch of trunk diameter (measured 4.5 feet from the ground) will be offered to Savage homeowners through 2021. To take advantage of this EAB Treatment Discount Program:
- Contact Rainbow Treecare at 952-767-6920
- Schedule an appointment with their ISA Certified Arborist for a comprehensive ash tree health evaluation.
- Receive a quote for any recommended treatment options.
- Schedule recommended ash injection treatments between June 1 and September 30.
- Rainbow Treecare offers a money back guarantee if your tree dies from EAB while under continuous protection. Full warranty details available upon request.
Homeowners are responsible for the full cost and scheduling of any private treatments.
How to dispose of infected trees
Residents of Savage can dispose of infested trees at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) Organic Recycling Facility at 1905 Mystic Lake Drive South in Shakopee. There is a nominal fee. Removal and disposal of infected ash trees on private property are the sole responsibility of the property owner.
What is the City of Savage doing about EAB on public property?
Since 2010, the City has been developing a tree inventory of all trees on public property. It is estimated that between 20-25% of all trees in Savage are ash trees. The City performs continual monitoring of ash trees on public property for signs of EAB infestation and based on budgetary allowances, protective pesticide treatments will be given to trees that are in good condition, provide the most public benefit, and whose loss would be most detrimental to the landscape. Public ash trees will be removed if they pose a risk to people or property, and replaced by another tree as funding allows.
How to keep EAB from spreading
The biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood.
- Don’t transport firewood. Buy firewood locally from approved vendors and burn it where you buy it.
- Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. Scott County has been designated as a quarantined area, which means that there are restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood. For more information about quarantine and regulatory information, visit the MN Department of Agriculture website;
- Watch your ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Arrest the Pest hotline at 888-545-6684 or email@example.com. Note the exact location of the tree and take a digital photo if possible.
Early detection, proactive and active removal and proper disposal of infested trees will be crucial to minimizing the impacts of EAB. And remember to plant a variety of trees and use proper plan. More information on EAB is available at MN Department of Agriculture.