13 ways to participate, through May 23, Arbor Week, EAB Awareness Week and NISAW

May 19, 2020

For more information contact: Jim Britt at (207) 480-0558

May 17 - 23, Maine is celebrating Arbor Week and, along with the nation, observing Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week and National Invasive Species Awareness Week. Here are 13 ways to participate:

1. Plant a native tree or shrub. Replacing lawn areas with diverse plantings of native woody and herbaceous plants helps support pollinators and food webs better than introduced ornamentals. Some native plants support much more life than others. Choose the best plants for your area by using the Native Plant Trust's Garden Plant Finder. And for information on how to plant your tree, refer to the USDA Forest Service "Tree Owner's Manual."

2. Learn how to identify ash trees. May is a great time to identify ash trees. While all the other hardwood trees are leafing out, Maine's ash trees still look like sticks in the sky. Look for opposite branching and small-ridged bark in a diamond-shaped pattern.

3. Learn how to identify signs of emerald ash borer. Now that you know what an ash tree looks like look for signs of emerald ash borer in the trees. You may spot "blonding" on ash trees, the shallow flecking of the bark by woodpeckers going after EAB larvae and pupae. If you think you see "blonding," take some good quality photos, note your location, and report your findings on the EAB Report Form.

4. Learn how to identify emerald ash borer. Chances are, you won't see EAB adults in May, but come June, you may see some as they start to emerge from ash trees. If you think you see an EAB, try to capture it or take a photo and report your findings on the EAB Report Form.

5. Look for tagged ash trees! During Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (May 18-22), DACF staff and friends from Soil and Water Conservation Districts will be putting tags on ash trees. These tags help the public become aware of emerald ash borer's impact on ash trees and the community. Look for these tags on street trees and trails in these towns: Augusta, Belfast, Bridgton, Gorham, Houlton, Madawaska, Madison, Norway, Skowhegan, Unity, and Windham.

6. Create a girdled ash tree to monitor for emerald ash borer. Your tree can be part of the monitoring network for EAB. Knowing the whereabouts of EAB helps the DACF and others make good management decisions about ash.

7. Leave your firewood at home and prevent the spread of invasive pests. Planning a camping trip? Buy firewood at the campground or go to FirewoodScout.org to find other local sources.

8. Learn more about invasive species. Maine Forest Service has archived forest health webinars available to watch. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine DACF will offer two live, free webinars on invasive plant identification and management and by attending you become eligible to receive a free copy of the Get a free account and use the iMapInvasives online mapping tool to map locations of invasive species on public property and on private property with landowner permission.

10. Spread awareness and celebrate the state's trees. Take your National Invasive Species Awareness Week commitment beyond this week. Tell your friends, family, neighbors and others about invasive species! It's a big state, and we can't get the word out to everyone without your help. Encourage them to get involved with National Invasive Species Awareness Week in their own way. Here are some resources to help get started:

11. Find a nearby trail in a forest (or park) and go for a walk, hike, or bike ride. Natural settings are effective in lowering stress. Exercising outdoors compared to exercising indoors helps people feel more revitalized, engaged with others, and less tense. Use the Maine Trail Finder to get directions, trail maps, and current information on trail closures.

12. Use indoor days for natural arts and crafts. Pinterest is full of creative ideas for crafts made with natural materials like pine cones, needles, leaves, and twigs. See what you can find in your backyard and let your imagination get to work. We like this pine cone bird feeder tutorial from the Kratt Brothers.

13. Find and measure a champion tree. Many state champions are located on public property or along city streets. Some of them include the northern red oak in Augusta, green ash and pin oak in Portland, red spruce in Little Moose township, red pine in Weld, and the eastern cottonwood in Orono. Contact the Maine Forest Service for specific locations. Here's how to measure a tree and calculate its points.

Invasive Species Events During EAB Awareness Week, National Invasive Species Awareness Week, and Maine Arbor Week 2020