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Brutally cold winter a good thing for Emerald Ash Borer Larvae infestations

The Emerald Ash Borer is notorious for killing trees in North America.

It has been an especially bad problem in Duluth.

This year, though, the record-breaking cold temperatures that Northlanders endured seem to have paid off, in at least one respect.

Mark Abrahamson from the Department of Agriculture says the beetle larvae was killed off by 70-90%.

Abrahamson says: “Winter does have an impact on Emerald Ash Borer, not every year it has to get pretty cold to have a big impact but -20 degrees F is when you start to see impact and if you get down to -30 degrees F you see substantial impact. This winter in Minnesota we had several places that got down to -20 and some that got to -30.”

Compared to other winters, this one seems to have been especially fruitful in giving the city time to catch up to the tree-killing ash borer.

The last time we had a cold winter that would have had a substantial impact on Emerald Ash Borer was 2012-2013.

The city says that it’s not necessarily about eliminating the Ash Borer, because that’s impossible.

Instead, they try to catch up to it by cutting down ash trees.

“So with this die-off of emerald ash borer this past winter that’s a good thing for us, it buys us time, it obviously hasn’t eliminated the problem and because of that we’re continuing with our management plan, removing ash, as is happening along fifth avenue west here” says Clark Christenson, City Forester.

Christenson says as long as ash trees are around, the emerald ash borer will have a feast.
Because of that… the management plan will remain to rid the city property of ash trees in order to limit the amount of dead trees that are more dangerous to remove.

Jenna Lake

Meteorologist

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