Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Officials set up traps in state campground, hope to not catch ash borer; Starbuck, MN

Two emerald ash borer traps set up in Starbuck

Chad Koenen

While an emerald ash borer is no larger than a common sunflower seed, it is powerful enough to take out an entire species of tree.

The small beetle which was first discovered in Southeastern Michigan in 2002, has left a path of destruction across its mostly unimpeded track across the upper Midwest. Earlier this year the question of when the destructive beetle would finally be discovered in Minnesota was answered when it was found in St. Paul and near Houston County in southeastern Minnesota. In its trek across Michigan over the past few years, the emerald ash borer has taken out nearly every ash tree in its path, which has some in the Minnesota DNR and Department of Agriculture, including State Invasive Species Specialist Daniel Pasche worried that the emerald ash borer could be more deadly and destructive than the famed Dutch Elm Disease of the early to mid 20th century.

Pasche explained that Dutch Elm Disease didn't necessarily kill every elm tree in its path, some were spared and some overcame the disease. However, this time around ash trees don't appear to be so lucky as Pasche said early-on it appears 'emerald ash borer seems to take every single ash in its path.'

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