City receives emerald ash borer grantRed Wing recently was awarded a grant to prepare for a possible emerald ash borer invasion.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing recently was awarded a grant to prepare for a possible emerald ash borer invasion.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is giving the city $28,000 to protect against the exotic beetle that kills ash trees.
"It's important for communities to prepare for this beetle," said Katie Himanga, a consultant with Heartwood Forestry who helped the city apply for the grant.
Of city-owned trees in parks and boulevards, 25 percent are ash trees.
Some of the grant money will be used to remove 37 of the city's ash trees, according to a city memorandum. Thinning the city's ash tress will help to prevent the beetle from spreading from tree to tree.
In exchange for the grant the city will make an in-kind donation, worth 15 percent of the grant, by planting resistant trees, inspecting trees and entering findings into a database.
The emerald ash borer is an exotic beetle. The adult beetle is of little harm but as larva the beetle boroughs inside ash trees and feeds on bark, disrupting trees' ability to feed and water.
The beetle originates from Asia and has been moving westward, according to www.emeraldashborer.info -- a Web site setup by United States Department of Agriculture and several state agencies.
Himanga said the bug can travel long distances when people haul wood from one area to another. She said the closest known incident of emerald ash borer is in St. Paul, where the beetle was found last summer.
Concerned homeowners should refrain from taking any action until the beetle is found in a community closer to Red Wing, Himanga said.