Maine Forest Service Entomologist Colleen Teerling will demonstrate how to make a tree trap for emerald ash borer, a highly invasive insect species not yet found in Maine that nonetheless threatens Maine’s forests.

The demonstration will be held on Tuesday, June 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Camden Hills State Park.

The demonstration involves stripping bark from around an ash tree, or “girdling” it, causing the tree to become stressed and release chemicals attractive to the EAB. Teerling also will have samples of wood containing EAB tunneling and insect specimens to display.

EAB, which has killed millions of ash trees and threatens Maine’s American Indian basket-making tradition, has been found in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. According to the Agriculture Department, more than 25 million trees in the U.S. have been affected by the emerald ash borer.

It has not yet been found in Maine, and the Maine Forest Service, under the Maine Department of Conservation, has been taking steps to prevent its entering the state by banning out-of-state firewood and to detect its presence through bio-surveillance projects.

The Black Ash Task Force, a collaboration of the Maine Forest Service, University of Maine, Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance and the U.S. Forest Service, has asked woodlot owners throughout the state to create tree traps on their lands. About 25 have responded and are creating the traps, according to Teerling.

This fall, the landowners will cut down the trees and take three 1-yard-long pieces for a “log-stripping party,” during which the bark will be stripped off the wood, which will be examined for the distinctive tunneling made by EAB.

Some treatment is possible to prolong the life of the affected trees, but in general, an infected tree is killed by the beetle.

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