Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Western York County, Maine

September 12, 2018

For more information, contact: John Bott at (207) 287-3156

Discovery of this highly destructive insect in southern Maine is bad news

AUGUSTA - State officials at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry today announced that entomologists have confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in western York County, Maine. This alarming new development follows a spring discovery in northern Aroostook County.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a highly destructive, introduced pest of forest and ornamental ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). Since its initial detection in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002 it has spread rapidly. As of August 2018, it has been found in 35 states, and four Canadian provinces including Maine.

Earlier this week, EAB adults were recovered on two purple traps in York County, Maine. One adult beetle was found in both Acton and Lebanon by the USDA-APHIS contractor, Delta 21. Field personnel from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Forest Service are currently conducting ground surveys in the area to follow up on the trap detections.

In late May 2018, an established EAB infestation was detected in Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada. Subsequent surveys in Maine detected lightly-infested ash trees in Madawaska adjacent to the Frenchville town line. In early August EAB was found on purple traps in the town of Grand Isle, ME. The MFS implemented a stop movement order on ash from the towns of Frenchville, Grand Isle and Madawaska on August 10th, 2018. This order will be amended to include affected towns in York County once the initial follow up survey is conducted.

Ash trees infested with EAB may die within two to three years. Since its arrival in North America, EAB has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in infested states and provinces, and has cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ash trees comprise four percent of Maine's hardwood forest, are a valuable timber species, and are also an important street tree. EAB threatens all species of ash trees (but not mountain-ash, Sorbus spp.) and will have significant ecological and economic impacts on the state. There are no practical means to control EAB in forested areas, though pesticide treatments can protect individual trees.

A public meeting will be held in York County in the near future, details to be announced shortly. More information on this pest in Maine can be found at http://www.maine.gov/eab

STAY INFORMED Parties interested in receiving updates regarding EAB in Maine can subscribe to the Department's electronic bulletin list "Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)." Subscriptions are available through e-mail or text message (SMS): https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDACF/subscriber/new

Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Contacts:

  • Allison Kanoti, Acting State Entomologist, Maine Forest Service, allison.m.kanoti@maine.gov, (207) 827-1813 or
  • Gary Fish, State Horticulturist, State Plant Regulatory Official, Plant Health, gary.fish@maine.gov, (207) 287-7545

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