Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector Program

The Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector training program is designed to help identify the occurrence of invasive forest pests in Minnesota, including emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, Asian longhorned beetle, Japanese barberry and Oriental bittersweet.

Become part of the award-winning Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector volunteer program to help the public find new invasive species affecting Minnesota’s trees and forests, or attend as a refresher for those already active as Forest Pest First Detectors.


2018 Workshop Information

February 28, 2018
8:30am – 3:30 pm

Bunker Hills Activities Center/UMN Extension Regional Office
550 Bunker Lake Blvd NW
Andover, MN 55304

March 21, 2018
8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Loose Moose Saloon and Conference Center
119 South Front Street
Mankato, MN 56001

Registration for 2018 workshops is open January 23 through March 16.  Space is limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged! Cost is $50, and includes the online course and in-person workshop, including lunch and refreshments.


Both online and in-person workshop are required for successful completion of the program; you must add both to your cart during the registration and check-out process.


How it works:

All registrants will complete an online training course in preparation for the in-person workshop. The online course should take approximately 2.5-3 hours to complete, and should be completed prior to attending the in-person workshop. The in-person workshop is 7 hours, and lunch and refreshments are provided. Both online and in-person workshop are required for successful completion of the program.

What you’ll learn:

– invasive species identification
– tree disease identification
– reporting methods
– common transportation routes for pests

Who should attend:

Master Volunteers (Master Naturalist, Master Gardeners, Tree Care Advisors, etc.), tree care professionals, forestry professionals, natural resource professionals, environmental educators, MN Conservation Corps participants, and others. Current Forest Pest First Detector volunteers are welcome but not required to attend.


First Detectors are the front line of defense against likely infestations, and volunteers commit to being available and involved with the program after completing the training. Involvement includes (but isn’t limited to) being accessible to the public for questions, ability to conduct site visits if necessary, and reporting forest pest-related activities.

If you choose to become a Forest Pest First Detector volunteer you must complete the online course and attend a Forest Pest First Detector workshop, and sign a First Detector confidentially form at the workshop. Be sure to notify your instructor that you want to become a Forest Pest First Detector volunteer!

Want to learn about invasive forest pests, but unable to commit to volunteering? Everyone is welcome to attend the training – even if you do not wish to become a Forest Pest First Detector volunteer!

Continuing Education Units:

Continuing education units are available.

  • Master Gardener & Master Naturalist continuing education credits
  • MN Tree Inspector Recertification available
  • Minnesota Logger Education Program: 6 hours (workshop)
  • International Society of Arborists CEUs (online course and workshop):
    • Certified Arborist: 8.5
    • BCMA – Science: 8.5
    • Municipal Specialist: 8.5

More Resources:

Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector Manual

Forest Pest First Detector Site Visit Checklist

Forest Pest First Detector workshops are jointly produced and co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and University of Minnesota Extension.


Need to report a pest? Visit: Arrest the Pest