Season Two: Twin Cities urban forest versus the Emerald Ash Borer

So the day has come.  The pest that has destroyed millions of trees in Michigan and Ohio since its discovery in 2002 is here in the Twin Cities.  The emerald ash borer, an exotic, iridescent beetle was imported (inadvertently) from Asia, where it is a native beetle.  The beetle, as destructive as it is beautiful, attacks and kills only ash trees (Fraxinus spp) by laying its eggs just beneath the bark where the larvae feed on the food and nutrients created by the tree’s leaves, essentially starving the tree. The emerald ash borer can kill a tree in as little as three to five years, and is very difficult to detect.FULL DISCLOSURE: Karen Zumach is the Community Forestry Manager for Tree Trust, a 501(c)(3) Minnesota nonprofit that has served the Twin Cities since 1976. She is an ISA certified arborist and holds two degrees from the University of Connecticut in geology and horticulture.The trees discovered in the South St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul last year are said to have been infected for at least three years.  In areas of Michigan and Ohio where the pest has devastated their urban forests, initial estimates point to at least six years of infestation prior to discovery. Continue Reading