An emerald ash borer. Credit: Courtesy of the University of Maine

Following the discovery of emerald ash borer in northern Cumberland County, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has issued an emergency order restricting the movement of ash trees or ash tree products including logs, pulpwood, green lumber and firewood from areas in neighboring Oxford County.

The restricted area covers Albany Township, Lovell, Norway, Otisfield, Oxford, Stoneham, Stow, Sweden and Waterford.

Much of Cumberland County and an area in northern Aroostook County are already under quarantine due to the pest. Any ash nursery stock, green lumber, logs, stumps, roots or branches must not leave a quarantine area. They can, however, be sold and transported within a quarantine area.

The emerald ash borer beetle is considered one of the most serious invasive species in Maine, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. It is a threat to all three species of native ash trees in the state — green, white and brown.

Ash is culturally important to the Indigenous Wabanaki in Maine, and is an important street tree and valuable timber species, according to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Moving ash infested with emerald ash borers can spread the invasive pest into new areas. Restricting the movement of the ash trees and its products can help control that spread.

The ban on importing firewood into Maine also remains in effect.

Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.