Ash borer found in more trees in St. Paulby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says it has found dozens more trees infested with the emerald ash borer.
Inspectors have now located 59 trees with the beetle. It's usually fatal to ash trees. Ag department spokesman Michael Schommer says they're all within a half mile of the initial discovery in St. Paul -- and that's actually encouraging news.
"These trees were infested for three to five years in that St. Anthony Park neighborhood," said Schommer. "These adult emerald ash borers can fly up to two miles a year. There was some concern that there would be a very extensive infestation. That being said, I think it's an encouraging sign, but not a sign that this will be something that we can quickly eradicate."
The state and city plan to start removing the infested trees and stepping up surveillance for the bugs.
The tiny green bugs lay their eggs in the bark of ash trees, and the larvae eat the living tissue under the bark, often killing the tree.
Ag officials are asking homeowners to watch ash trees for dying leaves in the upper third of the tree's branches, heavy woodpecker activity, or D-shaped holes in the bark.
Minnesota is thought to have nearly one billion ash trees. That's believed to be one of the highest concentrations in the nation.