The Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District and Maine Forest Service went tree tagging in Houlton recently. Signs were placed on Ash trees along Riverfront Park in Houlton that give an environmental value to the trees, based on their size. It's an eye-catching way to learn about the benefits of trees and to notify people about the invasive forest pest, Emerald Ash Borer. Take a walk and find the tags!
Maine Soil and Water Conservation Districts have received funding through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry (DACF) to provide outreach on Invasive Forest Pests through workshops and at state-wide events and fairs. The grant project extends through mid-September, 2019 so look for Districts at IFP booths at events all around the state.
Currently, invasive pests that occur in Maine include:
- emerald ash borer, recently found in the towns of Frenchville, Grand Isle, Madawaska in Aroostook, and Acton and Lebanon in York County
- hemlock woolly adelgid & elongate hemlock scale, recently found near Waldo County
- winter moth
- gypsy moth
- browntail moth (Browntail moth caterpillars defoliate trees; contact with toxic hairs can cause severe dermatitis and respiratory problems.)
Those that do not YET occur in Maine, but are close by in NH and MA:
- Asian longhorned beetle
Because of the discovery of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in northern Aroostook County, providing education to landowners has become even more important. EAB is a non-native beetle that infects and kills ash trees. While EAB is expected to eventually become established throughout the state, most ash in Maine are years away from being infested. Now is the time to plan for EAB's arrival and determine potential impacts. Management should focus on creating a more diverse forest in both structure and species composition, not eliminating ash. The Maine Forest Service has provided some great information for landowners on anticipating and managing for EAB. Check out the following pdf's:
Invasive forest pests typically get moved around unintentionally. They get moved long distances:
- in wooden packing material (pallets and crates);
- on infested plants in the nursery trade;
- in soil of plants that people bring to summer homes or when they move;
and through the movement of FIREWOOD.
Maine currently bans out of state firewood from crossing state lines, but pests can easily be transported from one part of the state to another. Check out Firewoodscout.org to locate local sources of firewood or simply remember this:
Buy it where you burn it!