Maine Slows Spread of Emerald Ash Borer with Continued Ash Movement Restrictions
August 30, 2021
Emergency Order announced to restrict movement of ash tree products and hardwood firewood from additional areas of Oxford County.
AUGUSTA - The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's (DACF) Maine Forest Service (MFS) has issued an Emergency Order to restrict the movement of ash from areas likely to harbor emerald ash borer (EAB). This order is in response to detections of EAB in northern Cumberland County and is in addition to the state quarantine rule on EAB. Both the order and the quarantine exist to help slow the spread of EAB within Maine.
Moving ash infested with EAB can spread this invasive insect to new areas. An estimated 90 percent of Maine's ash trees are outside of Maine's currently regulated areas. Ash is an important cultural resource for the Wabanaki, an important street tree and a valuable timber species, accounting for around four percent of Maine's hardwood forest inventory. EAB threatens all ash tree species (excluding mountain-ash) and will have significant ecological and economic impacts on the state. Although pesticide treatments can protect individual trees, there are no practical means to control EAB in forested areas.
What does the order do? The order limits the movement of ash trees for planting and ash tree products such as logs, pulpwood, green lumber, and hardwood firewood from the order area.
What is the order area? The order area covers Albany Twp, Lovell, Norway, Otisfield, Oxford, Stoneham, Stow, Sweden, and Waterford in Oxford County. This order area is in addition to areas described in the existing state quarantine, Maine DACF, Agriculture Rules, Chapter 275, which includes areas in Maine and other states and Canada.
How does this impact firewood movement from out-of-state into Maine, such as wood harvested or processed in New Hampshire? Despite the spread of EAB into Maine, the ban on movement of untreated firewood from out-of-state into Maine remains. Many tree-killing insects and diseases in addition to EAB can be moved with firewood. We urge everyone who uses firewood to choose local or heat-treated firewood.
If I'm only moving ash tree products within the order or quarantine area, do I need to worry about spreading EAB? EAB is not found everywhere within the order and quarantine areas. The MFS and our partners concerned with the future of ash trees in Maine encourage those involved in moving ash tree material within the regulated areas to follow Best Management Practices to reduce the spread of EAB.
More information on EAB can be found on the department's EAB website.
Questions about the order can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 207-287-2431.