Don’t Miss Our Next Woodland Stewardship Tour Sept. 27th

Waldo County Soil & Water Conservation District and Maine Forest Service’s series of short field tours highlighting forest stewardship and conservation continues.

Thursday, September 27, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Tour of the Newell Tree Farm, Thorndike –  Join us for this multi-faceted tour of the 2018 Maine Outstanding Tree Farmer runner-up. Don Newell has been managing this property for multiple resources for decades, and his efforts are impressive. We’ll take a look at thinning & regeneration projects, as well as invasive plant control treatments, wildlife enhancements, and trail/bridge projects. In a short two hours we’ll only see a fraction of Don’s work, but easily enough to provide any landowner with ideas and inspiration for managing their own woodlands.

Meet at the Newell property, on Ward Hill Road, just over 0.5 miles east from Route 220, just before the Unity/Thorndike town line. Turn in at the Newell Tree Farm sign and park on either side of the driveway.

These workshops are open to the general public, as well as landowners, foresters, loggers, and others interested in the stewardship of trees and woodlands. They offer a brief, two-hour opportunity for observation, questions, and discussion.

This event is free and open to the public, and involves walking outdoors (moderate difficulty), and will occur rain, snow, or shine. Please dress for field conditions. For more information contact Aleta McKeage, Technical Director of Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District at 207-218-5311 or Morten Moesswilde, Midcoast District Forester with the Maine Forest Service, at 207-441-2895.

Emerald ash borer Emergency Order expands to include York County towns

Public Informational Meeting to be held in Lebanon on October 1

In response to the discovery of emerald ash borer (EAB) infested trees in western York County, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Bureau of Forestry Director has expanded the Order Area in the Emergency Order to Stop Movement of Ash first issued in August of this year. The Emergency Order restricts the movement of certain ash (Fraxinus spp.) products and any untreated firewood from EAB infested towns in Maine.

Current Order Area Towns:

AROOSTOOK COUNTY towns of Frenchville, Grand Isle and Madawaska

YORK COUNTY towns of Acton, Berwick, Lebanon and Shapleigh

To protect the ash resources of the State of Maine from the unrestricted spread and establishment of a dangerous tree-killing forest pest, the Director of the Maine Bureau of Forestry has taken action and issued the Order pursuant to authority granted by 12 M.R.S. § 8305. For more information about EAB, or to view the full text of the order, visit the Department’s EAB information page:


Invasive Species Spotlight – Himalayan Jewelweed: Pull it out!

You may have noticed a very tall and attractive pink flower in fields and roadsides that is starting to bloom now. Himalayan jewelweed (Impatiens glandulifera) is a highly invasive plant that has become very problematic in areas near Waldo County, where it has completely crowded out our native asters, goldenrods and other wetland and open area plants in some places. It can also impact production areas managed for hay fields, pasture and blueberries. Himalayan jewelweed is unusually tall for an annual plant, often reaching 5-7 feet in height. It is a prolific plant (each plant can produce about 800 seeds with high germination rates), enabling it to out-compete native vegetation. Its replacement of perennial vegetation on river banks may lead to increased soil erosion. Himalayan jewelweed is found in early successional forest, edge, floodplain forest, railroad right-of-way, roadsides, wet meadows, as well as gardens and yard, preferring moist sites.  It is commonly found in riparian habitats (along streams). Himalayan jewelweed resembles our native jewelweed, which is orange flowered and not as tall.

The good news is, if you catch it early, it is relatively easy to manage. Pull gently on the plants and they generally come right out including the roots. Pulled plants should have dirt removed from roots and be placed on non- soil surfaces in the sun to dry out. Break off the flowers and bag them, closing the bag and leaving it in the sun for a while, then incinerate or dispose of the bag. The flowers can create their seed pods even if pulled. Ideally, pull the plants just as soon as you see them flowering, to avoid “popping” mature seed pods, which spread the seed by exploding. Cutting this plant or topping it will just cause it to quickly regrow new flowers. Plan to pull it the next year as well as new seeds sprout, but eventually you can eradicate it this way. Extensive stands can be managed with a foliar herbicide spray applied in July. There are many places in Waldo where this plant is just beginning to get a foothold, so pulling any you see on your land and talking to your neighbors about it may help us keep this plant at bay in our area.

If you enjoy having a tall, beautiful pink flower this time of year, a good substitute for Himalayan jewelweed is our native fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), which can be planted from purchased seeds, and coastal joe pye weed (Eutrochium dubium), available from Wild Seed Project.

Woodland Stewardship Series: The Value of Old Growth and Mature Forest

Next in our Small Scale Woodland Stewardship series: Join us for a hike and talk in a old growth forest. Learn about what an old forest is like and how it offers many benefits from wildlife habitat to recreation and enjoyment of nature. Old forests are one of the most diverse and fascinating natural landscapes you can find in Maine, and also one of the rarest. Most forests here have experienced significant logging in the last 100 years or are recovering from other uses. Old forests often have a tremendous structural complexity, undisturbed microtopography and soil, and ancient trees in all stages of life and death. This allows for many species of birds, wildlife and plants to thrive here, including some that only live in these types of forests. Leaving some areas of forest unharvested for longer periods can create mature forest conditions that are an excellent way to support wildlife habitat and also enhance enjoyment of your woodland. Join us for a walk on the Hidden Knoll trail in the Sheepscot Headwaters Preserve to explore the beauty and habitat potential of undisturbed forest as well as unusual land features.

These events are free and open to the public. This event will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain or thunderstorms. Please check  here for cancellation Parking is often limited, so please consider carpooling if you can. For more information contact Aleta McKeage, Technical Director of Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District at 218-5311 or Morten Moesswilde, Midcoast District Forester with the Maine Forest Service, at 207.441.2895. This Maine Forest Service and WCSW event is in collaboration with Midcoast Conservancy.

When and Where: Saturday, August 25th at 2pm. Meet on the Halldale where the Hemlock Hollow Trail crosses about ½ mile south of the Penney Road, in Montville (in the Sheepscot Headwaters Preserve of the Midcoast Conservancy). Distance: 3 miles, moderate difficulty (We will not be walking fast).


Tree Identification Workshop This Thursday

Natural science educator Kevin Doran leads this workshop, to be held on Sears Island. The workshop is next in our series on Small Scale Woodland Stewardship, a collaboration of the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District and Maine Forest Service. Friends of Sears Island is co-sponsoring the workshop. Learn to identify a wide variety of deciduous trees and conifers present in the diverse forests of the island. Free; all are welcome. Sears Island is on Sears Island Road off Route 1 just east of Searsport. Park along the causeway and meet at the island gate kiosk by 3 p.m. Wear footwear appropriate for walking in the woods and on the beach, and clothing to protect against ticks and the weather. Bring water, a snack, and insect repellent. No pets. Steady rain cancels event; cancellations will be posted on Facebook by 2pm. FMI: waldocountysoilandwater.org or  855-884-2284.