Wednesday, 07 February 2018 15:19

Emerald ash borer could harm our trees Featured

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AUGUSTA - It's an invasive insect that has the potential to cause devastation in Maine's forests.

The emerald ash borer is what the Maine forest service is investigating. They haven't found it in Maine yet, but are taking proper precautions to prepare.


The emerald ash borer comes from Asia, and it' has been discovered in all of our neighboring states.


Forest entomologist for the Maine forest service Colleen Teerling said "And then this is the area in New Hampshire where it's right on our boarder as well."


She says it's not a concern for humans, but it's an insect that kills ash trees."It kills hundreds of millions of trees." Teerling said "What we're doing is we're looking for it so when it does come to Maine we find it quickly rather than finding it several years after it's arrived."


She says the insect bores it's way beneath the bark of the tree. A parasite that can kill the tree itself. "And just chews out the cambium layer, and when you get enough of them it disrupts the water and the nutrient layer of the tree and the tree dies."


Teerling says people should look out for woodpeckers. They often feed off of emerald ash borers that are underneath the bark. This is also the perfect time of year for people to look for woodpeckers feeding on damaged ash trees.


"Woodpeckers are feeding off on insects in the trees. If it's emerald ash borers there's very distinctive pattern of feeding" said Teerling.


She says it's illegal to bring fire wood into Maine from other states. One way the state is hoping to stop an invasion.


"And then an emerald ash borer comes out of it and all of a sudden we have an infestation" said Teerling.


If you do think you see a tree with emerald ash on it make sure to call the Maine forest service at (207) 287-2431 or Google "Maine Forest Service Invasive Insects."

Shonna Narine

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Shonna Narine joined the ABC7 and FOX22 team in August 2017. Originally from Long Island (although she hides her accent for TV) she's excited to see what Maine has to offer.

She graduated from Five Towns College in Dix Hills Long Island where she anchored for their TV Club, and had her own radio show called "All Access Entertainment."

She won an outstanding achievement award and graduated on the dean's list.

Prior to graduation Shonna interned at News12 Long Island.

Shonna comes from a big family. With three older sisters, her parents, and six nieces and nephews there's never a dull moment when she's around them. When she's not working she enjoys working out, dancing, spending time with her fiance, and planning her wedding! Shonna would love to hear if you have any story ideas. You can email her at [email protected].