City prepares to deal with ash borer infestations
The city of Rosemount doesn't have a formal plan to deal with Emerald Ash Borer but staff has been talking about it and preparing for when the nasty little bug does hit. So far there have been no confirmed cases in Rosemount.
According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture the Emerald Ash Borer, also known as EAB, is an insect that attacks and kills trees. The adults are small, iridescent green beetles that live outside of trees. The larvae are wormlike and live underneath the bark of tree. The trees are killed by the tunneling of the larvae under the tree's bark.
Two city workers -- one public works employee and one parks and recreation employee -- have been educated on identifying the insect in anticipation that sooner or later the beetle will infest Rosemount's ash population said public works director Andy Brotzler.
At a staff level they have also discussed what to do if Rosemount's ash population is affected, which would likely mean losing the trees and possible reforestation. However, nothing has or will be presented to the city council in the near future, Brotzler said.
So far the city has had a handful of call reporting possible cases of the beetle but none of them have turned out to be an infestation. The city has set up an internal structure to deal with phone calls concerning the insect.
All ash trees are susceptible to EAB and millions of ash trees have been killed in infested areas. According to department of agriculture Minnesota has one of the highest volumes of ash on forestland in the United States.
Brotzler did not know how many ash trees are in Rosemount or what possible costs could be to remove infected trees.
While all scenarios are hypothetical Brotzler said it is likely Rosemount eventually will see the nasty little beetle.
"From our perspective and from the information out there one might glean that most (ash) trees will be affected," Brotzler said.
In that case Brotzler said it is likely the city will lose many of its ash.
"There's a sense that this could be a 15 to 20 year pattern," said Brotzler.
He said the city will address the matter as more information becomes available.
If you suspect one of your ash trees has been infected call the public works department at 651-322-2022. For more information visit www.mda.state.mn.us.