WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) -

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been discovered in a privately owned Ash tree in Winona.

Property owners will be responsible for the removal of Ash trees that become infested and dispose of them within Winona County, Assistant Winona Public Works Manager, Keith Nelson said in a statement.

“The spread of the EAB is anticipated to occur slowly for the next year or two and then to accelerate quickly thereafter,” Nelson said.

The EAB was found in southeast Minnesota in 2011 and its spread in the reason has been anticipated. In 2012, the Winona City Council approved an Ash Tree Management plan to chemically treat up to a third of Ash trees on public boulevards and parks.

“The initial application occurred in 2012 and 2013, and will need to be repeated every three years for an undetermined length of time,” Nelson said. “Additionally, the City has begun a program of removal and replacement of many of the remaining boulevard Ash trees.”

In 2013, 100 Ash trees were removed and a variety of tree species planted in their place. That program will be considered again in 2015.

Nelson said removal and replacement, or ongoing chemical treatments are options for property owners to manage privately owned Ash trees.

Winona County is under a state quarantine that prohibits untreated hardwood, including Ash tree firewood, from leaving the county.

For more information, contact the Winona Public Works Department at (507) 457-8269.