The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry in Augusta seeks the public’s help in locating ash trees sold at Lowe’s stores in Maine during spring and summer 2020. DACF Horticulture and Forest Health officials are concerned that the trees may contain emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that kills ash trees. The trees originated at a nursery located in an EAB infested and quarantined area.

Customers purchased 36 of these trees during spring and summer 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, according to a news release from the DACF.

Customers who have not already been contacted by Lowe’s are asked to get in touch with Maine State Horticulture Program, by emailing [email protected]v or calling 207-287-7545.

DACF suggests that everyone refrain from planting any ash tree (Fraxinus spp., not mountain-ash) and the white fringe tree (Chionanthus sp.). EAB is established in Maine, and EAB infestations surround the state in Vermont, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, and Quebec. Ornamental ash trees in areas with EAB infestation require regular application of insecticides to survive and thrive. For more information about emerald ash borer, visit maine.gov/eab.

DACF extends its gratitude to Lowe’s and Clinton Nurseries for their response to this ash tree incident. DACF and Lowes staff worked collaboratively to address the situation, inform customers who purchased ash trees, and hang informational signage at Lowe’s stores throughout Maine.