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).

 

The Emerald Ash Borer Now in Maine – Important Information

See the source image

The Emerald ash borer (EAB) was discovered in Maine for the first time in May of this year. The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that has killed millions of ash trees across the Eastern US. In areas where it is established, nearly 100% of ash trees are killed. Ash trees are an important component of Maine forests, providing lumber and other wood products, wildlife food and habitat, and materials for First Nations basket makers. All species of ash are killed by the emerald ash borer.

Here are two good publications from the Maine Forest Service on what landowners, foresters and loggers should know about managing and planning for this serious pest:

Woods Wise Wire, June 5, 2018: Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Maine

EAB Information for Maine Landowners

Other Information on Managing EAB Infestations

EAB Decision Guide for Landowners

Managing EAB infestations

A Checklist for Municipalities

Check out our new information page on invasive forest pests.

 

Join Us for an Invasive Plant Management Intensive

Please join us for a series of intensive workshops on terrestrial invasive plant management beginning with the May 23rd evening workshop described below. This series is geared toward conservation and land management professionals and those with a strong interest in managing invasive plants in Maine. Continuing education credits are available for pesticide applicators.

Control Methods for Terrestrial Invasive Plants

Wednesday, May 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast, Maine

Invasive plants are a common threat to woodlands and other plant communities in the Midcoast. Identifying and controlling invasives as soon as possible after establishment is ideal, though not always possible. A variety of tools are used to control invasives. Mechanical methods may sometimes be successful, while herbicides are often also an important tool in the plant manager’s toolbox. This workshop will address how to identify common invasives, and where various control methods – mechanical or chemical – can be applied. Because herbicides can be very effective, but are sometimes misapplied, the workshop will put particular emphasis on knowing what herbicides to use, when to use them, and how to prepare and apply herbicides correctly. Health and ecological risks, ways to mitigate risk, as well as rules and regulations regarding the use of herbicides will be discussed.

Aleta McKeage is a conservation biologist with extensive practical experience, as well as Technical Director for the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District. Amanda Devine is Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Regional Stewardship Manager for southern and Midcoast Maine, where she has primary responsibility for managing vegetation on conserved lands. Megan Patterson is the Pesticide Program Manager for the Board of Pesticides Control. Together these presenters have years of expertise in managing invasive species and restoring plant communities throughout Maine and the northeast.

The program will be geared toward land managers, arborists, foresters, and interested landowners. It is presented through a cooperative effort of Waldo County Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Board of Pesticide Control, and Maine Forest Service.

 

Invasive species are the focus of additional events this spring/early summer, to give people both field and indoor opportunities to learn about this critical vegetation management issue. Participants are encouraged to attend this session on 5/23, as well additional events:

  • Thursday, May 17th, 3 p.m. – Woodland Stewardship Field tour, Deerfoot Farm, Appleton (including multiple woodland management projects including invasive species control)
  • Wednesday, June 6th, 6:30 p.m. – Invasive Species presentation by Aleta McKeage, Belfast Adult Education, Belfast High School
  • Thursday, June 28th, 3 p.m. – Woodland Stewardship Field Tour on field identification of invasive plants, Belfast

For more information, contact Morten Moesswilde, District Forester for Maine Forest Service, morten.moesswilde@maine.gov or 441-2895. No registration is required for any of these free events. Credits toward pesticide applicator licensure will be available.

 

Next Woodland Stewardship Tour is May 24th: Learn How to Plant a Tree

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

Save the date: Thursday, May 24th, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Tree Planting – We’ll talk about and demonstrate selection and different methods of planting trees – from small seedlings to balled/burlapped ornamental trees. Participants will take home a small seedling to plant. Meet at Belfast City Park on Northport Avenue.

These events are open to landowners, foresters, loggers, and others interested in the stewardship of small woodlands, and offer a brief, two-hour opportunity for observation, questions, and discussion.

These events are free and open to the public. They will involve being outdoors/walking in the woods and will occur rain, snow, or shine, so please dress for field conditions. 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 207-218-5311 or Morten Moesswilde, Midcoast District Forester with the Maine Forest Service, at 207-441-2895.