Workshop to look for emerald ash borers
BAR HARBOR, MAINE – The National Park Service and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry are hosting an ash tree bark peeling workshop to search for an invasive forest insect pest, the emerald ash borer (EAB), on Thursday, March 7 from 8:30 a.m. until mid-afternoon. The workshop will be held in the “fire engine bay”, a heated garage at park headquarters, Acadia National Park, (20 McFarland Hill Drive), Bar Harbor.

Girdled trap trees are one of the tools used to detect this highly invasive exotic forest insect pest. The bark is stripped of an ash tree in a long band around the tree, cutting off the flow of nutrients and water between the crown and roots. Girdling stresses the tree and causes it to emit chemicals that attract adult EAB in the area. The beetles then lay their eggs among the furrows of the bark. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae bury into the tree and begin to feed on the cambium, killing the tree within three to five years. Three small ash trees were girdled in the park this spring and additional trap trees were girdled by cooperating landowners in the region. These trees will be cut, peeled, and inspected for signs of the beetle. In 2018, EAB was confirmed in Maine when infested ash trees were found in northern Aroostook County and in York County.

With EAB now documented in Maine, it becomes even more important to track its movement and prevent its spread into new locations. Adult EABs may be able to fly a few miles on their own in a single year, but moving infested firewood can spread them hundreds of miles in a single day. To help protect Maine’s forests from EAB and other invasive wood-boring insects, it is extremely important to buy firewood from a local source where you camp. The recommendation is to only use firewood within a 50-mile radius of where the firewood was collected and where the firewood will be burned, even within Maine.

The public is welcome to drop in at any time during the workshop and learn to correctly peel ash trees to detect EAB. No reservations are required. In the event of a winter storm, the workshop will be rescheduled for Friday, March 8. Please call park biologist Jesse Wheeler at 207-288-8722 or for more information.

Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 (Archive on Tuesday, March 19, 2019)
Posted by Jym St. Pierre   Contributed by Jym St. Pierre