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Emerald ash borer discovery confirmed in Steele Co.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) in Steele County.

A tree care professional contacted the MDA last week after they noticed several dying ash trees at a site in the city of Medford. MDA staff were able to find live EAB and collect a sample for federal identification. That confirmation came Wednesday from USDA.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will be enacting an emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. This will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect. A total of 20 Minnesota counties, including Steele County, are now under a full or partial quarantine to prevent the spread of this highly destructive tree pest.

Residents of Steele County are invited to an open house on Tuesday, Oct. 1, regarding the discovery of emerald ash borer in the county.

Those attending the open house will have an opportunity to learn more about EAB and local options to deal with the insect and hear how residents can limit the spread of the bug. Experts will be available to answer questions.