Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

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2019 Minnesota Emerald Ash Borer Report

This report was prepared by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) with assistance from staff of the Minnesota Departments of Agriculture (MDA), Commerce, Health (MDH), and Natural Resources (DNR), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the Metropolitan Council.


Ten years have passed since emerald ash borer (EAB) was discovered in St. Paul in 2009. Nearly a quarter of Minnesota’s counties have infestations, and all will eventually be infested. The state has more than 1 billion ash trees, mostly in forests, while 1 in 5 trees in Minnesota’s communities is ash. Losing these trees poses a serious threat to community and rural forests across the state. Unfortunately, federal efforts to limit the spread of EAB will disappear and communities and land managers lack sufficient funding and capacity to adapt to the destructive effects of this pest.

State and federal quarantines have assisted in slowing the spread of EAB into and throughout the state. However, the federal government is considering lifting their interstate quarantine, requiring states to take on enforcement. Without effective quarantines and enforcement, transportation of infested wood will speed the spread of EAB.

In 2019, the Minnesota Legislature approved $1,000,000 in funding for communities to respond to EAB. These funds will help communities complete tree inventories, develop management plans, and remove and replace ash trees. While these funds will be put to good use, they will address only a fraction of the need.

By adequately supporting communities, we could keep EAB out of Minnesota’s ash-dominated forests for as long as possible. Infestation in these forests carries a significant climate risk and will likely have long-term environmental effects. Not only could Minnesota lose one billion ash trees in our forests, but over one million acres of forests could convert to non-forest ecosystems and sequester far less carbon over the long term. How we manage standing ash trees matters, too. If we have a proactive and organized response, we can put ash wood to its highest and best use and avoid overwhelming our waste stream.

The purpose of this report is to provide recommendations for action on EAB to Minnesota’s leaders. Although community forests and forested lands have different challenges, this report attempts to address both. We cannot avoid the impacts of EAB entirely. However, if we take action now, we can avoid many unnecessary costs and impacts while laying the groundwork for healthy, resilient forests in our communities, working lands, and protected lands.


Key Recommendations


Additional Reports and Resources about EAB in Minnesota

Guidelines to Slow the Growth and Spread of Emerald Ash Borer MDA, 2018
Model Request For Proposal Components for Emerald Ash Borer Management ORANGE Environmental, LLC, 2018
EAB Information Packet MNSTAC, 2017
Fond du Lac Black Ash Research Project Fond du Lac, 2016
Minnesota’s Forest Resources DNR, 2016
Model EAB Management Plan MNSTAC, 2015
Minnesota’s Urban & Community Forest: Best Management Practices for preventing the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species MN Invasive Species Advisory Council, 2015
Health Impacts of Saint Paul’s Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan MPCA, MDH, 2015
Ash Diversification Project – Chippewa National Forest (USFS), 2015
MN EAB Community Preparedness Manual MDA, DNR, UMN Forest Resources, 2014
Guidelines for Managing Sites with Ash to Address the Threat of Emerald Ash Borer on Forestry-Administered Lands DNR, 2014
A bioeconomic analysis of an emerald ash borer invasion of an urban forest with multiple jurisdictions twin cities case study – ELSEVIER, 2012
Minnesota DNR Community Tree Survey DNR, 2012
Estimated Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) on Ash Timber Supply in Minnesota DNR, 2011
Managing Ash Woodlands: Recommendations for Minnsota Woodland Owners UMN Extension, DNR, 2019
MN Forest Resource Assessment DNR, 2010
MN Forest Pest Workgroup Report to Legislature, 2010
Twin Cities – Markets for Urban Wood with an Emphasis on Ash DNR, 2010
Minnesota’s Ash Resource and Markets My Minnesota Woods, 2009
EAB Readiness Plan for Minnesota MDA, 2008
Minnesota Emerald Ash Borer Response Plan, 2007
Rapid Assessment of Ash and Elm Resources in Minnesota Communities DNR, 2007

Additional Reports and Resources

Germany Makes a National Committment to Rescue Its Forests, City Lab, 2019
Under Siege: Ash Management in the Wake of the Emerald Ash Borer Oxford, 2018
Review of Ecosystem Level Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer on Black Ash Wetlands MDPI, 2018
Tools for Staging and Managing Emerald Ash Borer in the Urban Forest Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, 2017
Effects of emerald ash borer on municipal forestry budgets University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2016
Regional assessment of emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, impacts in forests of the Easter United States, US Forest Service, Northern Research Station, 2016
Ecological risks posed by emerald ash borer to riparian forest habitats: a review and problem formulation with management implications Canadian Forest Service, 2015
Emerald Ash Borer Biology and Invasion History USDA Forest Service and Russian Academy of Science, 2015
Emerald Ash Borer Program Manual USDA, 2015
Emerald Ash Borer Invasion of North American Forests Ohio State University, 2014
A bioeconomic analysis of an emerald ash borer invasion of an urban forest with multiple jurisdictions ELSEVIER, 2013
Emerald Ash Borer Invasion of North America: History, Biology, Ecology, Impacts, and Management Annual Review of Entomology, 2013
Evaluation of potential strategies to SLow Ash Mortality (SLAM) caused by emerald ash borer: SLAM in an urban forest International Journal of Pest Management, 2012
Economic analysis of Emerald Ash Borer (Coleoptrera: Buprestidae) Management Options Entomology Society of America, 2012
The influence of satellite populations of emerald ash borer on projected economic costs in US communities, 2010-2020 ELSEVIER, 2012
SLAM: A Multi Agency Pilot Project to SL.ow A.sh M.ortality USDA Forest Servive, Northern Research Station, 2010
Cost of potential emerald ash borer damage in US communities, 2009-2019 ELSEVIER, 2010