September 22, 2019
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Portland to treat Deering Oaks Park trees to stop spread of destructive moths

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Carl Stephenson of Portland Facilities Management replaces a light bulb in Deering Oaks Park in this BDN file photo. The city will treat the trees in the park in an effort to stop the spread of browntail moths.

PORTLAND, Maine — Officials in Maine’s largest city say they’re getting ready to deal with an infestation of a destructive forest pest in one of the Portland’s most prominent public spaces.

Portland officials say the parks department has been monitoring oak trees in Deering Oaks Park and has identified a “limited infestation” of browntail moths. The moths are capable of killing trees, and their caterpillars have poisonous hairs that can cause a rash in humans.

[Toxic moths are on the move in Maine]

The city said Tuesday that forestry crews have been clipping branches over the last several months to reduce the threat of the moths. It says a number of trees will also be injected with a spray application. That work can’t start until leaves start to grow on the trees, and that is anticipated next week.

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