Duluth secures funding to continue treating EAB

The City of Duluth says they have secured funding to continue Emerald Ash Borer management.

EAB is an invasive beetle that attacks ash trees, damaging the tree’s ability to take up water and nutrients. The process will kill the tree in as soon as two years, depending on the tree’s age, size, and vigor. Dying ash trees become brittle and are at much greater risk of storm damage.

Emerald Ash Borer larvae are able to survive the winter under the bark of their host ash tree, serving as insulation. The City says there is some indication that not all EAB larvae are able to survive sustained air temperatures below -20°F. The extensive population of EAB in Duluth right now would require a very harsh winter for any noticeable impact. The City says the recent cold snaps have not reached low enough temperatures for long enough periods to effectively reduce the EAB population.

The City has been fighting EAB since 2016. Two grants were secured last year from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to support the removal and replacement of dying ash trees; $99,000 through the Protect Community Forests grant program, and $150,000 through the Preparing for Emerald Ash Borer grant program.

With assistance from the State of Minnesota, the City has removed 1,800 dead and dying ash trees thus far, out of an initial population of 3,200. Going forward, the City aims to remove and replace between 400-600 more trees per year, in hopes of completing removal and replanting in 2026.