OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- The Maine Forest Service is trying to see if a very small insect could be causing problems for ash trees in the state.
Forest rangers are getting ready to set up 955 traps in Maine to see if those traps will catch a bug called the 'emerald ash borer.' Rangers say the insect likes to burrow into ash trees, which can kill the tree and make it unfit for commercial use.
At this point, it's not known if there are any emerald ash borers in Maine. The bug has been causing problems in New York state and Quebec. Rangers say since ash trees are so important to Maine's economy, they want to do everything they can to protect them.
"The outbreaks that have occurred in other parts of the country have been utterly devastating and we do not want this bug here," said forest ranger Jeff Currier, "and that's the purpose of setting out these 955 traps."
Currier added that if the bugs are found that could mean removing ash trees in parts of the state in order to contain them. The forest service is getting help from the U.S.Department of Agriculture, the Maine Department of Agriculture and the Penobscot Indian Nation with the study, which is expected to be completed later this summer.