The Emerald Ash Borer Now in Maine – Important Information

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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.

Watch for the Browntail Moth…a Health Hazard

This cute little guy is BAD NEWS.

Browntail moth is an invasive forest pest that continues to expand its range in Maine bringing with it human health impacts. Browntail moth is now present in Waldo County and other areas of the Midcoast. The larval stage (caterpillar) of this insect feeds on the foliage of hardwood trees and shrubs including:  oak, shadbush, apple, cherry, beach plum, and rugosa rose.  Larval feeding causes reduction of growth and occasional kills valued trees and shrubs.  While feeding damage may cause some concern,  the primary concern is the impact on humans from the  browntail moth is the result of contact with poisonous hairs found on the caterpillars.  Contact of these hairs with human skin causes a rash similar to poison ivy that can be severe on some individuals, and the hairs can cause breathing problems. 

Winter to early spring is an ideal time to control it by clipping and destroying its winter webs. Arborists can be employed to clip webs you cannot reach yourself. It can also be controlled through spraying or tree injection insecticides, at different times of the year. See the MFS website below for a list of certified pesticide applicators who can treat browntail moth infestations in your area.

Cocoons are small and are often found in groups at the ends of tree branches.
Skin rash from browntail moth

See the Maine Forest Service website for an overview of browntail moth, how to identify it, history in Maine and updates on current browntail range/ areas at risk. MFS also has information about management options and ways to mitigate human health impacts. If you think you have browntail moth infestation on your property in Waldo County, please inform the District or the Maine Forest Service.

This short video clip provides a brief overview:

http://www.wabi.tv/content/news/-Be-On-The-Lookout-For-Browntail-Moth-Caterpillars-475877453.html

More information:

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/invasive_threats/browntail_moth_info.htm