Emerald ash borer found in Winnipeg

Emerald ash borer

BISMARCK – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This represents a large jump from the previously confirmed area of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

“Winnipeg is only a short 65 miles north of the North Dakota border,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Even though there are additional precautions in place for movement of regulated articles across the international border, it is still more important than ever for North Dakotans to take action to prevent it from coming here.”

This is the first EAB discovery in Manitoba, and is now the closest EAB infestation to North Dakota. The previous closest infestation was Minnesota’s Twin Cities area.

Native to Asia, the emerald ash borer (EAB) only attacks true ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). The larvae feed under the bark, disrupting the movement of water and nutrients, and kill the tree within a few years. EAB has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada over the past decade.

North Dakota has more than 92 million ash trees. Based on tree inventories in 89 North Dakota communities, ash trees make up 48 percent of trees along streets and in city parks. They are also found in rural plantings and native forest areas.

“EAB spreads slowly on its own, but it can be moved long distances in firewood and ash nursery stock,” State Forester Larry 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.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and city foresters have been surveying for EAB since 2008. Trapping will continue in 2018 with more than 800 EAB traps in cities, state parks, recreation areas, campgrounds, rest stops, county fairgrounds and other areas of high risk to survey for EAB. To date, EAB has not been found in North Dakota, but it is in 31 other states.

More information about EAB is available on the NDDA website at www.nd.gov/ndda or www.ndinvasives.org.