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Emerald ash borer found in La Crescent

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed the first emerald ash borer (EAB) infested tree in the southeastern city of La Crescent, Minnesota.

In August 2011, MDA found an emerald ash borer adult on a purple detection trap in La Crescent's Veterans Park, but at that time no infested trees could be found. MDA staff worked with the city to continue surveys and recently discovered two EAB infested trees near the center of the city.

The City of La Crescent will host an informal open house on January 16 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 315 Main Street, La Crescent. The purpose of the open house is to inform citizens about the emerald ash borer and implications for residents with ash trees on their property. Citizens will have the opportunity to ask questions of city officials and emerald ash borer experts. They can also learn about management options for infested trees. The city is developing an ordinance for managing trees on private property and will give a brief review of possible ordinance outcomes.

"While it is unfortunate to have EAB show up in another city, it is fortunate that the City of La Crescent has been proactive in working to find infested trees and in planning for management of the pest," said MDA Entomologist Mark Abrahamson. "The last thing you want to do is sit back and let this problem build."

EAB is one of America's most destructive tree pests. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and feeding on the tree's nutrients. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 18 states. Infestation signs include one-eighth inch, D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and winding tunnels under the bark. The biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash products harboring larvae. There are three easy steps Minnesotans can take to keep EAB from spreading:

1. Don't transport firewood. Buy and burn local firewood to prevent movement of EAB.

2. Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. If you live in a quarantined county, be aware of the restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood. Details can be found online at; and,

3. Watch your ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to and use the "Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer?" checklist or call MDA at 1-888-545-6684 to report concerns.