Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is May 19-25

BISMARCK– Gov. Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed May 19-25 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in North Dakota.

Dalrymple said the event “is an opportunity for state and local agencies, environmental groups, community organizations, schools, businesses, industry, tourists and citizens to take action against the introduction and spread of emerald ash borer.”

“Emerald ash borer (EAB) is now found in 19 states, including our neighbor, Minnesota,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Because ash is one of the primary trees species in many North Dakota communities as well as in rural plantings and native forest areas, it is more important than ever for North Dakotans to take action to prevent it from coming here.”

City foresters will tie ribbons along with informational flyers on publicly-owned ash trees in Bismarck, Bottineau, Carrington, Devils Lake, Fargo, Grand Forks, Hettinger, Jamestown, Lisbon, Mandan, Minot, New Rockford, Wahpeton, West Fargo and Williston. State parks will also participate. The event is organized by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA), the North Dakota Forest Service (NDFS) and the North Dakota State University Extension Service.

State Forester Larry Kotchman urged citizens to help prevent EAB from entering North Dakota.

“EAB spreads slowly on its own, but it can be moved long distances in firewood and ash nursery stock,” Kotchman said. “Please buy your firewood from local sources, and if you are coming from out of the state, please don't bring firewood with you.” 

Moving uncertified firewood out of the areas under quarantine for EAB is a federal offense.

NDDA, NDFS, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and city foresters will place more than 500 EAB traps in cities, state parks, recreation areas, campgrounds, rest stops and county fairgrounds.

The two-foot-long, three-sided, purple traps are baited with a lure attractive to emerald ash borers. The traps will be monitored through July during the adult flight period.

Goehring and Kotchman asked that people encountering one of these traps to leave it undisturbed.

The survey is part of nationwide effort involving 49 states.

EAB only attacks ash trees. The larvae feed under the bark, disrupting the movement of water and nutrients and killing the tree within several years. Native to Asia, it was first detected in the U.S. in 2002 near Detroit. EAB is now found in 19 states and two Canadian provinces. The nearest known infestation to North Dakota is in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

More information about EAB is available on the NDDA website at http://www.agdepartment.com/.