ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The tree-killing pest – the emerald ash borer – has done serious damage to trees at a local golf course.

A new case, the first in 2012, was discovered at Fort Snelling Golf Club near the airport in Hennepin County.

Forestry officials think they may have to cut down nearly 100 trees because of it.

Ralph Sievert, the Director of Forestry for Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, says it’s the worst he’s seen in the Twin Cities.

“We haven’t had any tree look this bad in the areas where we’ve been dealing it with so far,” he said.

The beetle doesn’t kill the tree, but the larva does. It tunnels under the bark and cuts off the tree’s water supply.

According to Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the infestation at the golf club started five years ago, two years before the first case of emerald ash borer was found in Minnesota.

“It is something we’re going to continue to find in new places,” entomologist Mark Abrahamson said. “We’re not going to get rid of this bug. If we can slow it down and so that it can spread slower, it will do us a lot of good.”

This will have a lasting impact for Fort Snelling Golf Club. It could lose nearly 1/4 of its trees on the course, permanently changing its landscape.

“It’s a beautiful course and I think it’s defined by all of the trees that it has,” Tyler Cookas said.

The golf club is a half-mile from Dakota County, and Dakota County could soon join Hennepin and Ramsey counties in being placed under quarantine.

The Department of Agriculture will be evaluating the area in the coming days and weeks to determine if it’s needed.

Quarantine prohibits people from taking any ash tree limbs or firewood that could be infested out of the county.

When it comes to firewood, officials say burn it where you buy it.

If you have questions about whether a tree in your yard could be infested, you can send the department of agriculture a photo of it, and they’ll take a look.

Email your photo here.


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