North Dakota officials raise awareness of emerald ash borer

Farm Forum

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – State and local officials in North Dakota this week are trying to raise awareness of the emerald ash borer.

The beetles have killed millions of ash trees in 25 states, including neighboring Minnesota. North Dakota has about 78 million ash trees that could be at risk if the pest crosses the border.

“Given the traffic between our two states, it is more important than ever for North Dakotans to take action to prevent it from coming here,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.

One way residents can help with prevention is by buying firewood from local sources, State Forester Larry Kotchman said.

“(The beetle) spreads slowly on its own, but it can be moved long distances in firewood and ash nursery stock,” he said.

Officials in nearly 50 North Dakota cities including Fargo, on the Minnesota border, are placing ribbons and posters on ash trees to raise awareness. State and federal officials also are putting about 180 beetle traps around the state. The traps will be monitored throughout the summer.