(St. Paul, MN) – A highly destructive tree pest has been discovered for the first time in Steele County.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of Emerald Ash Borer.  The MDA was contacted initially by a tree care professional who noticed several trees at a site in Medford were dying. Samples collected from the trees were tested for federal identification and confirmed.

Since this is the first time Emerald Ash Borer has been identified in Steele County, MDA officials are enacting an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county.

Mark Abrahamson, the Director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division says that while officials rely on tree and landscaping professionals to help them monitor for invasive pests, they also need the help of the general public.  “We also need every Minnesotan to be vigilant,” said Abrahamson. “Know and look for signs of invasive pests; don’t move firewood and other materials around that may transport these insects; and, report anything unusual to us at the MDA.”

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