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Emerald ash borer now in Freeborn County

ALDEN, Minn. (KTTC) - Another southeast Minnesota County has been added to the growing list of counties with confirmed cases of emerald ash borer. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says the case in Freeborn County brings to 28, the number of counties with confirmed cases.

A contractor for an electric cooperative was doing tree maintenance along utility lines near Alden, when they noticed the ash trees with signs of EAB. The MDA was contacted and able to confirm the contractor's suspicions.

Emerald ash borer larvae kills ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding off nutrients that keep the tree alive. Often EAB can be spotted because the larvae forces the bark on the tree to split. Woodpeckers like to feed on the larvae so an abundance of woodpecker holes in the trees is also a sign.

The MDA is now quarantining the movement of firewood and ash material out of Freeborn County as a precaution.

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Michele Gors

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