State officials are trying to locate trees sold at Lowe’s stores this spring and summer that may contain emerald ash borers, an invasive insect that kills ash trees.

The emerald ash borer has become established in Maine and there are also infestations in Vermont, New Hampshire, New Brunswick and Quebec. Photo courtesy Dr. James E. Zablotny, USDA

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said the ash trees were sold at Lowe’s stores in Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Brewer, Brunswick, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, Thomaston and Windham. If a purchaser of a tree has not already been contacted by Lowe’s, the department said they should contact the state’s horticulture program at [email protected] or 207-287-7545,

The trees came from an area that was infested with borers, state officials said. According to state officials, 36 of the trees, labeled as ash green, fraxinus pennsylvanica, were sold at Lowe’s stores for $29.98 each.

State officials are encouraging residents to refrain from planting any ash or white fringe trees because of the emerald ash borer. The bug has become established in Maine and there are also infestations in Vermont, New Hampshire, New Brunswick and Quebec. Ornamental ash trees in areas with infestations require regular applications of insecticides to survive, DACF officials said.

The emerald ash borer was first detected in Michigan in 2002 and has spread across 35 states through wood products, including firewood and trees sold for planting. Current emerald ash borer quarantine areas in Maine include all of York and Cumberland counties, parts of Oxford County, and the northeastern corner of Aroostook County.

The emerald ash borer was found in northern Aroostook County in May 2018, western York County in September 2018 and Cumberland County in September 2019. More information about the pest is available at maine.gov/eab.

 


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