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Posted on: April 29, 2022

Parks Department Continues Treatment for Browntail Moth Infestation

Newsflash 2022

A winter survey of the trees within Deering Oaks Park, conducted with the help of Maine Forest Service, showed results that were improved from last year, but still concerning in the regards of potential Browntail Moth exposure and additional tree decline. During the week of May 16-20, 2022 the City’s Parks, Recreation & Facilities Department will be treating infested trees with an organic insecticide through ground spraying/misting into the canopy.

Deering Oaks Park will be closed to all guests during the time of actual treatment and for four hours following application. The application will be directed at each tree canopy during early morning hours (prior to 8:00 AM). Police, Park Rangers and proper signage will be placed around all entrances during this closure.

It is imperative to treat the trees now because of the public health risks associated with Browntail moths’ poisonous hairs, and because the moths can harm and even kill the trees over a couple of seasons. The organic insecticide treatment aligns with leaf-out, which is necessary to minimize defoliation and prevent the caterpillars from molting and releasing their hairs into the air.

Per the City’s Pesticide Use Ordinance, Chapter 34-5 Subsection D, this treatment plan is exempt and will not require a waiver.

Farmers’ Market Relocation
The City has again worked to relocate the Portland Farmers’ Market to Payson Park during the treatment. Starting May 16, residents can visit the market in Payson Park. The market will continue to operate out of Payson Park through June 12 (only 4 weeks this year, as opposed to 6 weeks last year).  

Read the full 2022 Memo to Council

For more information on browntail moths, visit:  Maine Forest Service & Maine CDC.

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