The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) in Freeborn County for the first time. There are now 28 counties in the state with EAB. That includes Rice and Steele counties.

Emerald ash borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. Often, the trees show several signs of infestation because of this.

Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Freeborn County, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is enacting an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. The MDA issues quarantines for all counties known to have EAB to reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.

Two virtual open houses for residents and tree care professionals in the county will be held, 10-11 a.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11. Experts from the MDA will give a brief presentation followed by a Q&A.

Register at mda.state.mn.us/eab.

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