Emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that kills ash trees native to North America, has been in Minnesota since its discovering in St. Paul in 2009. Until now it’s been found in cities and rural communities. Recently it was discovered on private forest land in Winona County. This discovery, while expected, is now an important reality for woodland owners in southeastern Minnesota. It should also be a “wake up” call for those of us living in northern Minnesota as we have the bulk of Minnesota’s ash resource growing all around us.
If you own woods in Itasca County and have ash on your land, you should consider developing a management plan now to minimize the impact of EAB will have on your property. The earlier you start planning the better. There are steps you can take to minimize the impact EAB will have on your property. The Ash Management Guidelines for Private Forest Landowners developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and University of Minnesota Extension is a wonderful place to start. This resource was developed by a large group of leading experts to offer recommendations for family forest landowners. You’ll learn about EAB, the history of Minnesota’s Ash resource, wood products and specialty markets, wildlife along with information on native plant communities. The Ash Management Guidelines for Private Forest Landowners is a free publication available at a DNR office or at the Itasca County Extension office, Grand Rapids.
Additionally, consider enlisting the help of a professional forester to help you make decisions about managing your land. A consulting forester can help improve wildlife habitat on your property, negotiate contracts with loggers and sawmills and provide supervision during timber sales. And working with a professional forester will help improve the quality of your timber.
Learn more on My Minnesota Woods, the University of Minnesota Extension website designed to provide reliable information at http://MyMinnesotaWoods.umn.edu