January fight against emerald ash borer in Minneapolis - KMSP-TV

January fight against emerald ash borer in Minneapolis

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The Minneapolis Park Board is spending this frigid January week removing some 200 trees, hoping to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer which has the potential to destroy millions of trees in Minnesota and more than 7 billion in North America.

The city doesn't really have any choice, saying infested trees have to be removed. Crews will also continue to remove damaged or defective ash trees in the area, so the borer doesn't have any easy time feeding and reproducing.

The ash borer was first discovered in St. Paul in 2009, found across the river in Minneapolis in 2010 and at the Fort Snelling golf course last August.

Because it's so close to Dakota County, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is closely watching and surveying ash trees in the area, trying to make sure it doesn't spread. The state has put out thousands of traps to try and attract the bugs and keep them off of trees.

They're also monitoring thousands of tiny wasps they released nearly two years ago, with hopes they will kill the borer and larvae and control the spread. That's a program experts say will take roughly five years to show its effectiveness.

The emerald ash borer has been found in at least 15 states since it was accidentally introduced into North America in the 1990s. It's estimated to have already killed between 50 and 100 million ash trees, affecting neighborhoods, parks and forests.

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