A New, Invasive Insect Poses Serious Threat To Ash Trees In Maine
Across the country, the United States Forest Service has been battling to keep an invasive insect, called the Emerald Ash Borer, from spreading its destructive force from coast to coast. Unfortunately, the battle being waged hasn't produced promising results. Hundreds of millions of ash trees in 34 different states have been destroyed by this insect native to Asia. Luckily, Maine wasn't one of the 34 states affected by the Emerald Ash Borer until an announcement was made yesterday.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry put out a press release letting the public know that the Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Maine. Several other agencies working with with the DACF made the discovery in Madawaska. The discovery was expected, as the Emerald Ash Borer has been discovered in Vermont, New Hampshire and Quebec in recent years. This Instagram post from Boulder County, Colorado from one week ago shows the problem exists from coast to coast.
The DACF warns that the Emerald Ash Borer is able to destruct a seemingly healthy ash tree within 3-5 years. The insect looks like a beetle, is about one half inch in length and metallic green. Ash trees currently make up about 4% of Maine's hardwood forest, but if the Emerald Ash Borer is not contained, that population could take a severe hit within the next decade.
So how can you help? Firewood is how. Firewood is a great way for the Emerald Ash Borer to move from one area to another quickly. The DACF suggests always buying your firewood locally, to avoid any further spread of the invasive insect.