EAB a year in review

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

Emerald Ash Borer Year in Review

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry sent this bulletin at 01/08/2019 08:45 AM EST

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Insect & Disease Conditions Update
One more “Year in Review”: Emerald Ash Borer Update from the Maine Forest Service
Upcoming Emerald Ash Borer-related events
Other Forest Pests

The year 2018 was a significant one for Maine with respect to the emerald ash borer (EAB). Not only was this invasive wood-borer found in the far northern corner of Aroostook County in the spring, it was also found in southern York County in the fall. Currently, the towns of Madawaska, Frenchville and Grand Isle in Aroostook County and Acton, Lebanon, Berwick, and Shapleigh in York County are under an Emergency Order to stop the movement of certain ash products and untreated hardwood firewood. Gary Fish, the State Horticulturist and State Plant Regulatory Official, has worked to develop a state quarantine, in consultation with the Maine Forest Service (MFS). Public hearings have been scheduled for February 11th at the Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Office, 45 Radar Rd, Ashland and February 13th at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office, 15 Oak St., Springvale. Both hearings will begin at 6:30 pm. The February 11th hearing will be a joint hearing for the Gypsy Moth Rule Change and the Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Rule.

Northern Maine
After EAB was found in Madawaska, ME, along the St. John River, MFS deployed approximately 100 purple prism traps in the towns surrounding the initial find. This was supported by funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-PPQ). EAB were found on four traps within two miles of the original find, in Madawaska and the neighboring town of Frenchville. In addition, a single EAB was found on each of two traps in the town of Grand Isle, approximately 11 and 15 miles distant. Canadian surveys uncovered additional infested trees around the detection in Edmundston and a single EAB was found on a trap in Ste. Anne de Madawaska, NB, just across the river from Grand Isle. Branch samples and whole trees near the positive traps in Grand Isle were peeled, but no EAB have yet been found in any tree in that town. Peeling bolts from girdled ash trap trees in Madawaska to look for signs of EAB (credit Maine Forest Service) Twenty-nine ash trees in Madawaska and surrounding towns were girdled in June by MFS and volunteers.  These were peeled in November 2018.  All trees were negative for EAB except for a single tree within half a mile of the original find.  Girdled trap trees from other parts of the state will be peeled later this winter.

Southern Maine
In southern York County, a single EAB was found in each of Acton and Lebanon on USDA-APHIS-contractor managed traps.  Although MFS followed up with branch samples and whole tree dissections, no sign of EAB has yet been found in trees in those towns.

Looking to the New Year
In the coming year, we will continue to monitor for EAB.  One of our best tools for detecting EAB at low levels is girdled trap trees.  In the spring of 2019, we will be looking for ash to girdle throughout the state, but particularly in Acton, Lebanon and Grand Isle, since we have not yet found trees with EAB in these towns.  If you have read this far, you probably have some interest in knowing the whereabouts of emerald ash borer.  If you want to be part of the effort to track this insect, through establishment of your own girdled trap tree, consider joining our Trap Tree Network.  Email colleen.teerling@maine.gov if you would like more information.  Not only can you assist us in monitoring for EAB in the state, this is one of the more proactive things you can do to monitor your own resources for this pest.

Upcoming Emerald Ash Borer-related events

  • January 16, 2019: Emerald Ash Borer expert Nate Siegert (USFS) is scheduled to address the Maine Woodland Owners Annual Meeting at the Agricultural Trades Show, Civic Center, Augusta from 10:15 to 11:00 as part of a full-day of Forestry Forum
  • Feb 11, 2019: Quarantine Rule Public Hearing.  Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Office, 45 Radar Rd, Ashland, 6:30 PM
  • Feb 13, 2019: Quarantine Rule Public Hearing. University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office, 15 Oak St., Springvale, 6:30 PM
  • March 27, 2019: Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a talk on emerald ash borer and other forest threats. 34 Armory Rd, Fort Kent.  6-8 pm
  • April 2, 2019: Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a talk on emerald ash borer and other forest threats. 57 Houlton Rd, Presque Isle.  6-8 pm
  • April 4, 2019: Dan Jacobs (MFS) and Southern Aroostook County Soil and Water Conservation District, Winter Agricultural School is hosting Nathan Siegert (USFS), Colleen Teerling (MFS) and Gary Fish (DACF) for an evening full of presentations and discussion of the emerald ash borer. Meduxnekeag Ramblers Snowmobile Clubhouse, Littleton.  6-9pm.  More details to follow.

Other Forest Pests

Browntail Moth
The Maine Forest Service is part of two public information sessions on browntail moth in January.  Sponsored by the Boothbay Regional Land trust: Learn how to identify and manage Browntail Moths during a presentation by Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde on Tuesday, January 22nd at 3 PM at BRLT’s Oak Point Farm. This free talk inside the farmhouse will focus on basic biology, identification, history, and control of webs from the Browntail Moth. Seating is limited and registration is required. To register please contact BRLT Environmental Educator Tracey Hall at thall@bbrlt.org or (207) 633-4818.  More Information can be found at the Boothbay Regional Land Trust Calendar. The second session will be held on Wednesday January 30th at Lewiston Public Works, 103 Adams Avenue, Lewiston from 10am until 2pm.  In this session speakers will cover an overview of browntail moth biology, history in Maine and updates on current browntail range/areas at risk, management options and human health impacts.  Speakers include Thomas Schmeelk,  Forest Entomologist with MFS, Kyle Rosenburg, Bath City Arborist and licensed pesticide applicator and Rebecca Miller, Northern New England Poison Center Educator.  More details will follow on the forest service calendar, www.maineforestservice.gov.

Gypsy Moth
The gypsy moth is a pest of quarantine significance in Maine. Each year the Maine Forest Service and USDA-APHIS-PPQ conduct a joint survey for gypsy moth in the area of the state not yet subject to regulations for this pest. This year, the cooperators deployed more than 500 milk carton traps in northern and western Maine. In years past, we have detected new reproducing populations of gypsy moth, causing a need for revision of state quarantine rules.  Results from the 2018 traps caused cancellation of a proposed revision late last year.  A new revision has been submitted to the office of the Secretary of State and a public hearing is scheduled for February 11th at the Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Office, 45 Radar Rd, Ashland starting at 6:30 pm.