Conservation Minnesota

It’s that time of year! Emerald ash borer season is upon us.

As the Community Coordinator in the East Metro, I’ve learned a lot about the people in the area.  East Metro people, as is likely true with all Minnesotans, take pride in many of their natural resources; flowing rivers, growing trails, and many beautiful lakes.  And one thing I’ve heard repeatedly during my ventures in the East Metro is that they deeply cherish one large and important resource – trees.

Developed and populated many years ago, the East Metro is full of large and elegant oaks and ashes, maples and firs.  These trees line streets, fill urban spaces and give the East Metro the spacious green appeal it is known for.

As in any part of Minnesota, I think the East Metro is best enjoyed in the late spring and summer.  Access to the outdoors is greatly increased and Minnesotans mobilize, populating beaches and trails from Stillwater to Woodbury.  As the weather warms, spirits lift and the outdoor world once again fills with color and… the all too familiar infestation of the emerald ash borer.

Native to East Russia and Asia, the emerald ash borer was introduced in Minnesota in 2002.  Currently, the emerald ash borer is largely contained in the metro area and certain parts of southwestern Minnesota.  Because Minnesota holds more ash trees than any other state, the emerald ash borer is a particularly relevant threat.

Due to the rapid rate at which ash borers kill ash trees, it is imperative that everyone does their part to protect the millions of ash trees that populate Minnesota.  The emerald ash borer is easily transported in any kind of raw ash wood product such as firewood, ash branches, or untreated lumber with bark attached.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect your beloved ash trees from this dreaded, ecologically foreign little beetle:

–       Watch for symptoms in ash trees

o   Reduced and dying canopy

o    D-shaped exit holes in bark surface

o   Sprouts near the tree trunk

–       Only buy firewood from the county in which it is being used.

o   Infested wood can hold emerald ash borers for up to two years after cutting—inspect the wood you bring near your destination

–       Purchase and safely use appropriate preventative insecticides

Watching and stopping the spread of this invasive species is incredibly important.  Not only do we face the potential loss of many of our beautiful ash trees, we face a myriad of environmental consequences as a result of the ash borer’s spread.

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About India Waller

India Waller

One of the newest additions to the Conservation Minnesota family, India Waller is a community coordinator in the east metro area.  She works with community leaders and Conservation Minnesota members to help protect the Minnesota they love.  Born in Minneapolis, she attended college at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin before returning to the Twin Cities, currently residing in Shorewood.  A perfect day for India involves yoga, her five dogs and a strong cup of coffee, and as for her favored location, the shoreline of Lake Superior tops her list.

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