Residents in Fillmore County are invited to a public meeting on Wednesday, June 3, regarding the discovery of emerald ash borer (EAB) in the county. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Montini Hall in Rushford. The hall is connected to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 105 North Mill Street.

On April 24, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) confirmed an EAB infestation in Fillmore County. The find was in a boulevard ash tree in the city of Rushford.

Those attending the upcoming meeting will have an opportunity to listen to presentations on EAB, hear about local plans to deal with the insect, and learn how residents can limit the spread of the bug. Experts from the MDA and other local, state and federal partner agencies will be available to answer questions.

The public will also have an opportunity to provide input on the adoption of a formal EAB quarantine of Fillmore County. An emergency quarantine was placed on the county in April when EAB was discovered.

The MDA will take comments on the formal quarantine from May 15 through June 30, and proposes to adopt the quarantine on July 15. The quarantine limits the movement of ash trees and limbs and hardwood firewood out of the county.

The proposed quarantine language can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab. Comments can be made at the public meeting on June 3 or by contacting Mark Abrahamson at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55155. One may also email him at Mark.abrahamson@state.mn.us or by fax at (651) 201-6108.

Emerald ash borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. Minnesota is highly susceptible to the destruction caused by the invasive insect. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation.

For more information on emerald ash borer, go to www.mda.state.mn.us/eab.