AUGUSTA — Officials from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are asking for the public’s help in locating ash trees sold at Lowe’s stores in Maine during the spring and summer 2020. Officials are concerned the trees may contain emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that kills ash trees, according to a statement issued Monday.

The trees originated at a nursery in an emerald ash borer-infested and quarantined area. The statement said customers purchased 36 trees from Lowe’s stores in Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Brewer, Brunswick, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, Thomaston, and Windham. The trees were potted, sold for $29.98, and labeled as Ash Green, Fraxinus pennsylvanica.

Customers are asked to contact the Maine State Horticulture Program at [email protected] or call 207-287-7545

The emerald ash borer was first detected in Michigan in 2002 and has spread across 35 states through wood products, including firewood and trees sold for planting, according to the statement. In Maine, it infests a small percentage of ash trees. Emerald ash borer quarantine areas in Maine include all of York and Cumberland counties, parts of Oxford County, and the northeastern corner of Aroostook County. Officials are working to delay the pest’s impact in uninfested areas through education, survey, quarantine and biological control efforts.

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