Welcome to the Be Woods Wise Bulletin,
a quarterly newsletter published by the Maine Forest Service (MFS) to connect Maine landowners with information about their forests, and with the resources people, new publications, events, etc. they need to make informed choices about their woodlands.
Be Woods Wise supports and encourages landowner stewardship. Stewardship means protecting and improving a whole range of resources recreation, wildlife habitat, woodland aesthetics, forest health, soil and water resources, wood or other forest products. Stewardship means meeting your needs as landowner while sustaining natural resources for the future.
Be Woods Wise and other MFS landowner assistance efforts are supported by grants through the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Stewardship Program, the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Land Enhancement Program, and other sources. _________________________________________________________________
Insects and Diseases in your woodland
Native insects and disease-causing agents (pathogens such as fungi) are natural parts of forest systems. They promote the development of a more vigorous forest by selectively weeding out weaker and genetically inferior individuals. There are many common insects and diseases that are found throughout Maine’s forests.
Non-native species, however, can pose serious threats to our forest trees. Who hasn’t heard of Dutch elm disease? Chestnut blight also virtually eliminated American chestnut, whose former range reached to Bangor (though efforts are underway to restore American Chestnut for more information on this effort visit www.acf.org). More recently, insects and diseases from other parts of the world have severely affected common species such as American beech once a valuable timber tree. Still others threaten to change the status of eastern hemlock, ashes and others. Management of introduced species in forest settings can be challenging and expensive.
The best management tactic for insect and disease problems in your woodland is prevention healthy, vigorous trees are generally less susceptible to insects and pathogens. Some things you can do to prevent insect and disease problems on your woodland include:
(1) avoid single-species stands (diverse stands are often less vulnerable);
(2) avoid establishment of species poorly adapted to the soils on a given site (for example white pine on land that was plowed (before 1930) and has a dense “plow layer”);
(3) avoid compacting forest soils by using the right equipment at the right time of year;
(4) use intermediate cuts such as thinning to give trees more growing space, remove infested trees, and favor tree species appropriate to the site;
(5) harvest “overmature” trees if they pose a risk of spreading insects/disease to other, more vigorous trees;
(6) favor trees that show possible genetic resistance to pests and diseases these trees can become a seed source for the future forest (ask your forester which trees might qualify);
(7) avoid transporting and spreading non-native tree species (such as Norway maple);
(8) observe quarantines of specific tree species and types of products (e.g. hemlock planting stock from out of state).
Not all injury from insects and pathogens should cause concern or needs immediate action. Some degree of insect and disease is an integral part of natural forest systems. Often damage that looks bad may not be ecologically significant, or have a significant effect on economic value. Treating entire forest areas may not be cost-effective or ecologically advisable. Call the Maine Forest Service for help in identifying and evaluating insects and/or pathogens in your woodland. Other sources of help include your stewardship forester and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
Contributed by Allison Kanoti, Forest Entomologist.
Defoliation from an early season defoliator showed up early this summer on hardwoods in southern Maine. It was particularly noticeable in Wells and to a far lesser extent in Eliot and York. The insect causing the damage is potentially a non-native from Europe, the winter moth (Operophtera brumata). Positive confirmation has not yet been made of the culprit, and it is possibly a native cankerworm or Bruce spanworm causing the problem as they all create the same pattern of damage. Both winter moth and Bruce spanworm moths were caught in traps in York, Portland and Sedgwick this past winter pointing to one of these two insects in particular as the problem. Winter moth is causing serious defoliation in Massachusetts and moths have been found in Rhode Island, eastern Connecticut and eastern New Hampshire.
The winter moth caterpillar is a pale green inchworm that eats the leaves of many hardwood trees. Their favorites are oak, maple, ash, and apple. They will also drop onto and feed on understory plants. The caterpillars hatch very early in the spring and feed on both the flower and leaf buds and then on the leaves as they expand. They finish feeding in mid-June and drop to the ground where they stay as pupae until early winter. In late November the moths emerge and are active throughout December mating and laying eggs on bark of host trees. The females are wingless and do not fly.
Winter moth can be moved by vehicles traveling through infested areas when the newly hatched caterpillars are “ballooning” on silk or later when they are dropping out of the trees to the ground. The caterpillars can land on the vehicles and hitch a ride to new locations. They can also balloon to new locations on the wind.
More research next year will identify the insect causing the defoliation in southern Maine.
Contributed by Charlene Donahue, Forest Entomologist
Forest certification information
Maine Forest Service has a new website on forest certification, including a section outlining “Forest Certification for Small Landowners”, as well as information on certification systems, markets, and links to other resources about this growing topic.
This site - http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/certification/ - provides information about:
Forest certification in Maine;
How landowners, loggers, and foresters can get certified;
Where to buy certified wood and paper products;
Where to sell certified forest products (harvested trees); and,
Links to more information about forest certification.
MFS Field Personnel Changes
MFS’s Forest Policy and Management Division announces several staff changes:
Paul Larrivee, formerly District Forester in Gray, has been named the Southern Regional Enforcement Coordinator, based in Augusta at MFS’s Bolton Hill facility. His new phone number is 624-3706.
Ken Canfield, formerly with the Bureau of Parks and Lands, is the new District Forester in Gray welcome Ken! Ken covers the counties of Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and most of Cumberland. His phone number is 657-3535.
Patty Cormier, formerly District Forester in Jefferson, has moved to the Norridgewock District Forester office. She now covers Somerset and Franklin counties. The new Norridgewock address is PO box 416, Norridgewock, ME 04957. Her phone number is 474-3499.
Morten Moesswilde will be filling the District Forester vacancy in Jefferson covering Knox, Lincoln, Kennebec and Waldo Counties, effective mid-September. The Jefferson number is unchanged, 549-9003. Morten has been Landowner Outreach Forester in Augusta since 2003, and prior to that was Water Resources Forester for MFS.
Publications (To locate additional publications, visit the MFS website or call MFS)
Forest Landowners Guide to Internet Resources: http://na.fs.fed.us/pubs/misc/flg/
Financial Incentive Programs for Non-Industrial Private Forest Owners:
WoodsWISE cost-share Program Forest Stewardship Management Plans
MFS offers financial incentives to eligible woodland owners to develop Forest Stewardship Management Plans. Landowners must apply and be pre-approved. Program details, application forms, eligibility & other requirements are available at www.state.me.us/doc/mfs/fpm/wwi/wwi.htm/, or from MFS’s Augusta office. _________________________________________________________________
RESOURCES: The Trust to conserve northeast forestlands
The Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands (TCNF) is a non-profit formed by the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine to administer the Maine Master Logger Certification Program. The Master Logger Certification Program offers independent certification of logging companies' harvesting practices according to identified standards (cross-referenced to all of the world's major green certification systems). Over 120 Maine companies have been third-party certified, and 46 have gone through a recertification process. See www.masterloggercertification.com.
With a broader goal of “Enhancing the Health of Maine’s Working Forests”, TCNF also serves as an administrator for a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified group of family forest landowners throughout Maine. Under this group arrangement, natural resource professionals can inexpensively gain access to FSC certification for their landowner clients. http://www.sustainablewoods.net/NetworkGroup.aspx?GroupID=23
In support of these certification programs, TCNF is working to develop market-based incentives to practice sustainable and ecological responsible forest management. TCNF is currently looking for landowners or consulting foresters interested in participating in a pilot carbon credit project. Specifically, landowners are needed who would be willing to commit to long-term forest management under an FSC-certified system that would be eligible to sell carbon credits on a regional or national market. Contact the Trust’s Director of Forest Stewardship and Research, John Gunn, at 207-966-3031 or RNDRIVER@megalink.net
Events of interest to woodland owners, foresters, loggers, etc., are sponsored by Maine Forest Service and others. For more information call MFS or visit: www.state.me.us/doc/mfs/fpm/calendar/calendar.shtml.
Maine Tree Farm Field Day August 26th, Eddington.
One of Maine’s oldest organizations supporting forest landowners.
Maine Forest and Logging Museum - Leonards Mills.
Living History Days October 7 & 8, Bradley
All Things Woods October 14, Portland Expo
This event will showcase a wide range of forest and forestry related exhibits.
Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine
SWOAM meetings/outings are a great way to learn and meet other landowners
Maine Agricultural Fairs
See the listing at http://www.getrealmaine.com .
Pine Tree State Arboretum
If you know of an event for the calendar, please contact MFS.
Maine Forest Service is…
Forest Policy & Management
information, education, & assistance for landowners, foresters, loggers, towns, legislators, and the public…
Forest Health and Monitoring
insect & disease monitoring and information, forest inventory & analysis
forest fire education, prevention & suppression; forest law enforcement
Be Woods Wise
informs, involves, assists, and provides incentives for Maine landowners managing their woodlands through application of forest stewardship principles.
Editor: Morten Moesswilde
Landowner Outreach Forester
Maine Forest Service
22 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0022
Phone in-state: 800-367-0223
Out-of-state: (207) 287-8430
1-800-367-0223 (in state)
Be Woods Wise Bulletin
Funding is provided by the
USDA Forest Service’s
Forest Stewardship Program
Maine Department of Conservation
Maine Forest Service
Forest Policy and Management Division
We help you make informed decisions about Maine forests