February Cold Could Be Bad News for Minnesota’s Emerald Ash Borer
Nobody really likes an extended bout of below zero temperatures in Minnesota, but it could result in good news for ash trees-- because it might have been BAD news for those invasive emerald ash borers this year.
When the temperature dipped below zero a month ago in February and didn't rise above zero for several weeks, many Minnesotans weren't happy. (Although, being the hearty souls we are here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, after a few days where our high temperature was in the single digits BELOW zero, we all kind of got acclimated to the cold, didn't we?
And while we might all be on the hook for higher-than-average heating bills thanks to the cold, there IS one silver lining to our bout with the polar vortex this year: it might have helped in Minnesota's continuing fight against the emerald ash borer. That'd be the EAB, as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (that'd be the DNR) calls it.
According to the DNR, the EAB is "an invasive forest insect from Asia responsible for the deaths of millions of ash trees" every year. And because Minnesota is home to nearly 1 billion ash trees in the state, the spread of EAB will have a serious impact, the DNR notes.
But our recent extended cold weather might have helped in that fight with the EAB. According to this MPR story, "...research has shown that at temperatures of 20 below zero, about half of ash borers may die. At 30 below, that can be up to 90 percent," the story said, quoting officials from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
The story went on to say that the extreme cold is not a cure, and that some of those pesky EABs will still survive this year-- especially since those extreme temperatures weren't felt all over the state. But, it did say that there could be fewer of them in Minnesota in 2021. Which is good news for Minnesota's ash trees!
Nobody likes having their trees devoured by invasive bugs. And, as it turns out, while most of us are happy to see signs of spring pop up around Minnesota, there are SOME parts of spring we DON'T like. Keep scrolling to check out 11 different things that happen in the spring of which Minnesotans really aren't fond.