Portland to treat park trees to stop destructive moth

May 14, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Officials in Maine’s largest city say they’re getting ready to deal with an infestation of a destructive forest pest in one of the Portland’s most prominent public spaces.

Portland officials say the parks department has been monitoring oak trees in Deering Oaks Park and has identified a “limited infestation” of browntail moths. The moths are capable of killing trees, and their caterpillars have poisonous hairs that can cause a rash in humans.

The city said Tuesday that forestry crews have been clipping branches over the last several months to reduce the threat of the moths. It says a number of trees will also be injected with a spray application. That work can’t start until leaves start to grow on the trees, and that is anticipated next week.