Fargo Recognizes Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week
People are asked to buy wood locally to avoid spreading the pest
FARGO, N.D. — The city of Fargo is working to protect trees from a pest called Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
EAB kills ash trees specifically by feeding on the layer of wood that moves water and nutrients through the tree. It can be spread when people move wood from one affected area to another.
“The pest is being carried by firewood from infested areas of different states where it’s been confirmed so we ask people not bring firewood from out of state,” Tracy Zablotney, an arborist with the city’s forestry department, said.
There have been no cases of EAB detected in North Dakota yet, but there have been cases in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Manitoba.
“This potential for EAB coming into North Dakota is going to be quite drastic to all of our native ash trees. It will potentially kill them all,” Zablotney said.
If you see green ribbons on tree trunks around town, it’s because the city put them up as part of EAB Awareness Week to help inform people about the problem.
If there were to be a huge infestation, Zablotney says they’d have to remove all those trees and plant other species.
Currently, the city is removing ash trees that aren’t in full health.
“Right now the city of Fargo is trying to reduce the number of our boulevard ashes in town, by removing the ones that are sick-looking, unhealthy, hazardous trees, structurally unsound trees, removing a few here and there just so we can try to counter the impact of EAB,” he said.
To avoid potentially spreading EAB, the city asks that people learn about the signs of infected trees, plant different types of trees, buy firewood locally.
“People just need to be more vigilant about bringing firewood from point A to point B,” Zablotney said.
EAB has a one-to two-year life cycle and usually emerges at the beginning of the summer season.
If you see unusual sprouts in the trunk of the tree, you are encouraged to contact either the North Dakota Forest Service or Department of Agriculture.
EAB Awareness Week started on Sunday and will run through the end of the week.