Emerald Ash Borer
The very destructive Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis), or EAB for short, is an invasive, metallic green beetle native to Asia which until May of 2018 had not been found in Maine. It was confirmed in Madawaska, ME, however, on May 22nd, 2018 by a joint DACF – U.S. Forest Service (USFS) team. As of 2019, it had been confirmed in three towns in southern Maine as well. As of November 2020, it had been confirmed–at least once–in the Maine towns of: Van Buren, Frenchville, Gorham, Ogunquit, Parsonsfield, Shapleigh, Grand Isle, Acton, Lebanon, Portland, Newfield, Berwick and South Berwick. Maine Forest Service Press Release (11/19/20)
It was also confirmed in Vermont in February of 2018 so it has now been found in at least 33 states. See also Current Distribution Map and Risk Distribution Map (USDA – APHIS). It is present in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and was confirmed in Quebec City during the summer of 2017 as a result of routine surveys there. Larvae feed just under the bark of ash trees, causing girdling severe enough to eventually kill the trees! Since its discovery in the United States in 2002, this beetle has killed millions of ash trees. As part of the prevention efforts in Maine, the Maine Forest Service reminds people not to transport firewood (more information about that can be found in the firewood link below).
Many Maine landowners and volunteers have peeled sections of ash trees (Fraxinus spp) to serve as trap trees in helping with early detection of EAB. Purple traps have often been deployed as well throughout Maine to help detect any early populations of emerald ash borer that might be present. Note: Mountain-ash and prickly-ash trees are not true ash species and so are not susceptible or attractive to Emerald Ash borers. Mountain ash belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae) and prickly-ash belongs to the rue/citrus family (Rutaceae). True ash trees are part of the olive family (Oleaceae).
Additional Information (and Photos):
- Emerald Ash Borer (Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry) — Important Reminder: Don’t transport firewood!
- What does Emerald Ash Borer look like?
- Signs and Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer Infestation
- Monitoring for Emerald Ash Borer with Traps (pdf)
- Join the hunt for the Emerald Ash Borer (May 2022) (Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry)
- If you suspect you have seen signs of emerald ash borer in Maine, please take pictures and make a report
- Companion News Bulletin Regarding: How to Girdle a Trap Tree for Emerald Ash Borer Detection
- Emerald Ash Borer Information for Maine Landowners (PDF)
- Emerald Ash Borer (good resource for photos and quick life cycle reference) (BugGuide.net)
- Current Distribution Map and Risk Distribution Map (USDA – APHIS)
- Emerald Ash Borer (USDA – APHIS)
- Emerald Ash Borer Purple Traps Explained (YouTube video by USDA – APHIS)