Tom Mullin comes to the District having worked in Waldo County for over two decades as an Associate Professor of Parks and Forest Resources at Unity College. His professional work experience includes work within the New England land trust community, municipal park agencies, and statewide environmental education programs. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Horticulture, and has a Master’s degree from George Mason University in Business Administration, Public Administration and Education.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect now present in Maine that kills ash trees. Ash trees are important in our forest products economy, our ecosystems, and as a shade tree frequently found in our yards, parks and street areas. It is important to keep an eye out for signs of this destructive pest, which could appear anywhere in Maine!
For Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, ash trees are tagged to help people become aware of this pest, and to learn about the value of local ash trees (see image below). Look for tagged trees in your area.
Use our new online tool to tell us about how your trees are doing. We are assessing trees in Maine that may or are experiencing changes due to disease, invasive insects or other environmental stressors such as climate change. The project will also help us look at tree species that may be suitable for assisted migration or adaptive planting as the climate changes or trees are lost to invasive insects. Ultimately, this project will provide valuable data that may help scientists plan projects to restore forests in Maine.
To report on trees you have planted or are growing near you, please fill out our form here (simple registration on the site, then join our project “Report a Tree,” also on the Anecdata phone app):
If you are interested in planting any of the trees listed to assist us with this study, let us know. We’d like to have people report on seedlings and saplings they are growing as a part of this research. We will be able to order some of these trees for you to purchase at our plant sale in the spring.
Some Trees to Report On:
- Ash trees (for signs of emerald ash borer)
- Hemlock trees (for signs of hemlock woolly adelgid)
- Beech trees (for clear beech that don’t appear to have beech bark disease)
- American chestnut (for larger trees that appear to be free of disease)
- American elm (for larger trees that appear to be free of disease)
Also for forest adaptation research, please tell us how any of these trees are doing if growing in your area:
- Tulip poplar
- White oak
- Chestnut oak
- Black walnut
- Shagbark hickory
- Black gum (Tupelo)
You can return to the Report a Tree tab at the top of our home page to report on trees in the future.
Our native perennials vendor, Honey Petal Plants, is still offering a wide variety of attractive, hardy native plants as well as garden favorites. Their horticulturalist, Astrid Bowlby, will have an outdoor pick up and stand for those interested in getting plants this spring. And, for every Waldo SWCD customer who buys plants, she will donate a perennial plug to our District to use in our educational programs. For more information, please visit her Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/honeypetalplants/.
These plants and more are available (Growing Chart): Honey Petal Plants Offerings 2020
At this time, we have orders for all of our seedlings, so the program is closed for this year. However, we invite you to use our learning activities below with your friends and family! We plan to offer trees again in the near future, so stay tuned.
Learning Activities to Do
Tree Planting Guides
Growing Guides – Search for your tree in the Plant Finder Box
About Our Trees
Each of these are potential climate adaptation species. See pictures of each tree and more at https://gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/
White Oak – (Quercus alba) This beautiful, large, functional tree is a Maine native that doesn’t grow naturally in Waldo County, but has great potential as a tree for our area, providing high quality lumber and sweet acorns that are excellent food for wildlife. As a yard tree, white oak develops a beautiful round, spreading form and has beautiful oak leaves with rounded lobes. Planting oaks is one of the best ways to support our native butterflies and moths as hundreds of caterpillar species feed on them.
Tulip poplar – (Liriodendron tulipifera) This tree has a very nice form both when young and when older. It is our second largest tree after sycamore, growing to tremendous size in the southern US. As a yard planting, it has a symmetrical, slightly conical form, with unique, large leaves that become yellow in the fall. As it grows taller, it has a very straight, clear bole. It is a good lumber tree, is fast growing, and shows great potential to adapt and thrive in our area. Its beautiful, tulip-like flowers appeal to pollinators, and it produces small, soft seeds which provide wildlife food similar to ash trees, which are likely to die out due to the invasive insect emerald ash borer.
Shagbark hickory – (Carya ovata) The bark of this tree is unique and ornamental, with gracefully curving, peeling strips. Its leaves and twigs are also attractive, and it produces very tasty, edible nuts that also feed wildlife. Hickory wood is strong, is an excellent fuelwood and also provides forest products. Hickory regenerates well after harvest from stump sprouts. It is not native to our area, but shows potential to be able to grow here and adapt to a variety of conditions. It likes to grow in dry upland sites.
Black walnut – (Juglans nigra) This sturdy tree produces prolific, edible walnuts. Its lumber is highly valued, and it is also used for veneer. Although it is not native to our area, it is successfully grown here and in similar climates. It is an adaptable tree, and like hickory, has potential to provide mast (nuts) food for wildlife, to replace lost chestnut, butternut and beech nut crops.