Steele County, MN (KROC AM News) – The first emerald ash borer discovery has been confirmed in Steele County in the city of Medford.

According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, a tree car professional contacted the MDA last week after they noticed several dying ash trees at the site. The staff ere able to find live EAB and collect a sample for federal identification, and confirmation came back Wednesday.

“We rely on partners in our tree care, logging, and landscaping industries to help us monitor for emerald ash borer and other invasive pests,” said Mark Abrahamson, Director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division. “However, we also need every Minnesotan to be vigilant. Know and look for signs of invasive pests; don’t move firewood and other materials around that may transport these insects; and, report anything unusual to us at the MDA.”

With it being the first tie EAB has been identified in Steele County, the Department of Agriculture will be enacting an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county to help reduce the risk of further spreading of the tree-killing insect. Twenty Minnesota counties are now under full or partial quarantine to prevent the spread of the high-destructive tree pest.

An open house will be held for residents of Steele County on Tuesday, October 1st regarding the discovery of emerald ash borer in the county to ask questions and how residents can limit the spread of the bug. Experts will be available to answer questions.

Emerald Ash Borer Open House
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
6 – 8 p.m.
Steele County Administration Building, Board Room
Owatonna, MN 55060

The public will also have an opportunity to provide input on the proposal to add Steele County to the state formal quarantine. The MDA will take comments on the proposed formal quarantine through October 25, 2019, and proposes to adopt the quarantine on November 1, 2019.