The Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District will be participating in the Southern Aroostook Recreation and Trade Show April 15 and 16 at the Millar Arena in Houlton. We will be focusing on providing information about Invasive Forest Pests and will even have a corn hole game with bean bags featuring forest pests for you to play. Come see us and learn what you can do to prevent the spread.
The Maine Forest Service has a wealth of information on Invasive Forest Pests and Diseases on their website, Invasive Threats to Maine's Forests and Trees: Forest Health & Monitoring: Maine Forest Service: Maine ACF
Maine Soil and Water Conservation Districts have received funding through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry (DACF) to provide outreach on Invasive Threats to Maine's Forests through workshops and at state-wide events and fairs. The grant project extends through mid-September, 2023 so look for Districts at IFP booths at events all around the state.
Currently, invasive pests that occur in Maine include:
- emerald ash borer, initially found in the towns of Frenchville, Grand Isle, Madawaska in Aroostook, and Acton and Lebanon in York County and since expanded to other areas in southern Maine
- 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 other states:
- Asian longhorned beetle
- Spotted Lanternfly
- Oak Wilt Disease
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:
EAB Information for Maine landowners
Guidance for Maine Forest Managers
How do invasive pests get here?
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!