Emerald ash borer has spread to Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.
A tree expert told FOX 9 this is significant because it's a six-mile jump from the last known infestation. Lakewood Cemetery is also a historic location full of mature trees, nestled between Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture's emerald ash borer quarantine map shows three sites of standing, infested trees within the cemetery grounds.
MDA also found ash borer infestations at two sites in St. Paul -- at the intersection of Lexington Parkway and Jessamine Avenue, and along Pig's Eye Lake Road east across the Mississippi River from the St. Paul Downtown Airport.
The discovery of these new sites is disappointing, but it is noteworthy that all three sites remain contained within the existing metro quarantine of Ramsey and Hennepin counties," said MDA Entomologist, Mark Abrahamson. "It is also encouraging that these cities have staff with sufficient expertise to identify infestations before tree decline is evident. Based on our experience with other sites, these trees have probably been infested for three or four years."
The Minneapolis Park Board removed 200 trees in January in its fight to prevent the spread of ash borer both within and out of the city. The ash borer was discovered in St. Paul in 2009, found across the river in Minneapolis in 2010 and at the Fort Snelling golf course last August.
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.