Emerald Ash Borer

State workers recently found an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan, which is the first sighting of the pest in Dakota County.

According to the Star Tribune, Dakota County has now joined Hennepin, Ramsey, Winona, Houston and Olmsted counties on the state’s quarantine list, which aims to help slow the spread of the infectious bug. The first signs of EAB in Minnesota were found in 2009, and following the discovery Eagan began implementing EAB management activities such as removing low-priority ash trees, pesticide treatments and also inspecting hundreds of trees, the newspaper reported.

Why is EAB something you should care about? Because it has killed millions of trees across 24 different states, and Minnesota has the largest ash population in the U.S. Here’s how you can do your part to slow the spread and detect infested trees as early as possible.

What is emerald ash borer and how can I detect it?

EAB is an invasive species insect that kills ash trees by burrowing into a tree and feeding on its nutrients. The pests lay larva in the bark and reproduce and spread at a fast rate. It can be hard to detect the bugs in the early stages of infestation, but a few things to look for include s-shaped tunnels under the bark, and 1/8-inch D-shaped exit holes in the bark. These are sort of the signature signs of EAB. In addition, heavy woodpecker activity or dying branches at the top of the tree could also be signs.

What can I do to help slow the spread of EAB?

It’s absolutely crucial to not remove any of the following from infected and quarantined counties:

  • Firewood from hardwood trees
  • Entire ash trees
  • Ash limbs and branches
  • Ash logs or untreated ash lumber with bark attached
  • Uncomposted ash chips and uncomposted ash bark chips greater than 1 inch in two dimensions

Not only is it unsafe for other trees to move these items, it’s also against the law!

Also, if you think that you’ve spotted an infested tree, report it to the Arrest the Pest Hotline at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 888-545-6684.

For more information, see our “Emerald Ash Borer Detection” article, or go to the Minnesota DNR’s web page on the subject.