Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is May 20-26

BISMARCK– Gov. Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed May 20-26 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in North Dakota.

“In just 10 years, emerald ash borer (EAB) has spread across more than a dozen states, killing tens of millions of ash trees,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Now that it has reached Minnesota, it is more important than ever for North Dakota to take action to prevent it from coming here.”

Goehring said the threat of emerald ash borer to North Dakota's trees cannot be overestimated,”

“Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week 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,” he said.

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, Valley City, 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 said it is up to citizens, as well as government agencies, to 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 have placed 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.

“If you come across one of these traps, please leave it alone,” Goehring said.

The survey is part of nationwide effort involving 49 states.

EAB attacks and kills all species of ash trees. Native to Asia, it was first detected in the U.S. in  2002 near Detroit. It is now found in 16 states and two Canadian provinces. The nearest known infestation to North Dakota is in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

EAB only attacks ash trees. The larvae feed under the bark and disrupting the movement of water and nutrients and killing the tree within several years.

More information about EAB is available on the NDDA website at http://www.nd.gov/ndda.

North Dakota has approximately 78 million ash trees and ash is one of the primary trees species in many North Dakota communities as well as in rural plantings and native forest areas.