Emerald Ash Borer discovered in Moorhead tree

Emerald Ash Borer Damage - Photo by: WDAY Radio File
Emerald Ash Borer Damage - Photo by: WDAY Radio File

(Moorhead, MN) -- An insect known for killing ash trees has now been detected in Moorhead.

The event was confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), who say insect larvae of Emerald Ash Borer was detected while a Moorhead city forester was pruning trees. The MDA is enacting an emergency quarantine in the western portion Clay county, between State Highway 9 to the North Dakota border. The quarantine limits moving firewood and ash tree material out of the area. 

Approximately 40% of trees in Fargo are the Ash species. Scott Liudahl, Fargo's City Forester, says they have been working for the last decade to reduce the number of Ash trees within the city. 

"The insect larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk, "said a statement released by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Signs of Emerald Ash Borer include the presence of woodpeckers, who often feed on the larvae. The larvae often split the bark on the wood as well, and reveal "s-shaped" tunnels beneath. 

A virtual informational meeting to learn more about the quarantine and Emerald Ash Borer is happening Thursday, March 16, 2023 between 10 and 11 am. You can learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer and the planned meeting by clicking here