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Integrated Crop Management Schedule for Softwood Timber Plantations and Conifer Seed Orchards
CLARK A. GRANGER, Ph.D
Licensed Professional Forester
Maine Forest Service
CHARLENE DONAHUE, M.S.
Maine Forest Service
CARL L. HAAG, M.S.
Licensed Professional Forester
Plum Creek Maine Timberlands, L.L.C.
- Circular 12
MAINE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, CONSERVATION AND FORESTRY
Maine Forest Service
Division of Insect and Disease Management
50 Hospital Street, Augusta, ME
Augusta, Maine 04330-0168
Tel. (207) 287-2431
|January||Develop harvest plans for forest
Red Pine - Schedule selective harvests for December through February when Annosum root rot infection hazard is lowest. If other harvest timings are used borax stump treatments are essential.
|Develop thinning plans for forest plantations.
All species - Conduct first thinnings before age 25 to remove disease infested, defective, and slow growing trees, and to adequately space trees to develop strong crowns and windfirm root systems.
|All species - Plan for the management of pales weevil when establishing new plantations in or near areas of recent pine harvest. Either delay planting for two years following harvest (may require increased use of herbicides) or be prepared to apply chemical controls to protect seedlings from possible weevil attack.|
|March||Red Pine - Begin treatments of freshly cut stump surfaces with borax to minimize Annosum root rot infection. Continue treating freshly cut stumps until late November when infection hazard diminishes due to lowered inoculum production.|
|April||Jack and Scotch Pine - Check for symptoms of pine-pine
gall rust. Rogue infected trees from plantations before May 1.
All species - Check for mouse or vole feeding. If observed or anticipated, manage ground cover vegetation more intensively through mowings and/or herbicides.
Larch Seed Orchards - If a significant seed year is anticipated, attempt to control certain cone insects by applying a spray of diazinon, acephate, dimethoate, or chlorpyrifos to cone bearing portions of seed trees. Sprays should coincide with time of pollination which will occur sometime during this month.
|Austrian, Jack, Red and Scotch Pine - Be aware
of the increased susceptibility to Scleroderris
canker when these species are planted in low areas of plantations or
cold, snowy places. Consider planting alternative species in such areas.
White, Jack and Scotch Pine; Norway and Native Spruces - Check for presence of white pine weevil adults or previous year damage. If either is present and damage levels are unacceptable, spray with Lindane, Dimilin or Metasystox R. When planting these species, be aware of their added susceptibility to weevil on heavy clay soils and heavily sodded sites.
|All Species - Begin planting as soon as frost
is out and ground will support planting activity. Plant bare root stock
as soon as possible after trees are lifted at nursery.
Red Pine; Black and Red Spruce - Be sure planting stock is free of Sirococcus shoot blight. Do not plant within 150 feet of infected overstory vegetation. Avoid planting small forest openings, low-lying areas and steep north and west slopes.
All Species - Assess potential for weed competition. Apply preemergence herbicides such as Simazine after planting if warranted.
|May||White Pine - Check for presence of currants
and gooseberries (Ribes) within 900 feet of pine trees. Destroy any
Ribes found. Prune lower branches from five and ten year old trees, removing
the lower 1/3 of the crown each time.
Larch Seed Orchards - Monitor for larch casebearer larvae on emerging foliage. If abundant, spray with carbaryl.
|All Species - Check for porcupine
damage to plantation trees. Porcupines may be visible now in large trees
surrounding production areas and may be easily dispatched with a firearm.
All Species - Monitor young plantations near recently harvested pine areas for pales weevil feeding. If serious, spray with Dursban or Furadan.
Spruce Seed Orchards - (same controls as Week 3 for fir seed orchards).
|Balsam Fir Seed Orchards - If a significant seed year is anticipated, attempt to control certain cone insects by applying a spray of diazinon, dimethoate, acephate, or chlorpyrifos to cone bearing portions of seed trees. Sprays should coincide with time of pollination.||Spruce and Fir - Inspect for damaging levels of
budworm and/or spruce coneworm. If severe,
spray with Bacillus thuringiensis, acephate, carbaryl, or diazinon.
Larch - If Eastern larch beetle is anticipated to be a problem, Bidrin injections should be accomplished at this time.
|June||Seed Orchards - Inspect for presence of gypsy moth caterpillars. If causing significant damage, spray with Bacillus thuringiensis, carbaryl, acephate, or methoxychlor.||White, Black, Red, and Norway Spruce - Monitor
for presence of yellowheaded spruce
sawfly. If mortality from previous year feeding is significant, spray
Jack and Scotch Pine - Monitor for sweetfern blister rust in young plantations. If contemplating future planting, eliminate the alternate host (sweetfern) within 50 feet of area to be planted and use older, bare root planting stock rather than container seedlings.
|Austrian, Red, Jack and Scotch Pine - Monitor
for Scleroderris canker in low areas
of plantations. If found, prune lower branches from trees.
White Pine - Monitor for presence of introduced pine sawfly. If large numbers are found, spray with carbaryl, malathion or methoxyclor.
Spruce, Fir and Larch Seed Orchards - Apply dimethoate as needed for control of cone insects. Bidrin injections should be considered if dimethoate does not provide adequate control.
|July||Black and White Spruce Seed Orchards - Monitor
for spruce cone rust. If impacting seed
production, eradicate shinleaf (Pyrola) or single
delight (Moneses) within 100 feet of seed orchard trees.
Larch Seed Orchards - Monitor for larch sawfly. If defoliation becomes significant, spray with malathion or carbaryl.
|White Pine and Norway Spruce - Check leaders for
wilting due to white pine weevil activity.
If found, prune back to healthy tissue and destroy removed portions. Correctively
prune previous year damage to re-establish a strong central leader.
Red Pine - Check for high populations of Saratoga spittlebug. If stunting or mortality of trees is apparent, spray with carbaryl, malathion, or chlorpyrifos.
|Spruce and Fir Seed Orchards - Check for presence of spruce bud scale. If populations are heavy (weakened trees and needle loss), spray with diazinon.||Seed Orchards - Check for build-up of spider mites. If populations are draining trees of vigor, spray with Kelthane.|
|August||Assess weed competition in established stands. Apply
Oust as a banded or broadcast treatment if warranted.
Larch Seed Orchards - If larch casebearer damage was severe in June, spray now with carbaryl or malathion.
|Larch - In the vicinity of larch plantations and seed orchards scout native stands of larch for Eastern larch beetle. If present in outbreak conditions, harvest and remove dead and dying timber.||Assess competition by perennial weeds. Apply glyphosate to prepare sites for spring planting, to manage woody competition in established stands, and to eliminate alternate host species. Do not allow glyphosate to contact larch foliage.|
|September||Seed Orchards - Schedule stump removal from areas
which will be planted to seed orchards. Armillaria root rot is a significant
hazard to young trees planted near old stumps and stump removal is warranted
before establishing such high value plantations.
Red Pine - Cease harvesting red pine plantations until Dec. 1. Annosum root rot (Fomes annosus) hazard is extremely high.
|All Species - Monitor young plantations near recently harvested pine areas for pales weevil feeding. If serious, spray with Dursban or Furadan.||Red Pine - Scout young plantations for Sirococcus shoot blight. Prune and destroy infected shoots and branches. Complete by April 1. Repeat annually if infected shoots are found.|
|November||All Species - Check for porcupine feeding. Set traps at den entrances if necessary.||Seed Orchards - Monitor mouse (vole) populations. If damage is anticipated, install and fill bait stations with zinc phosphide mouse bait.|
|December||Red Pine - Conduct selective harvests while Annosum root rot (Fomes annosus) infection hazard is low (December through February). This timing is especially important for mechanical harvest operations, where borax stump applications are difficult or dangerous.|
*Please note: Not all sites are suitable for establishing conifer forest plantations or seed orchards. Avoid planting sites with poor water or air drainage, heavy or wet soils, soils with high pH (over 6.5), and soils shallow to ledge.
Where pesticide trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.
Omitted from this guide are certain insect and disease problems which, while not uncommon, generally do not require specific management actions. Also omitted are certain Christmas tree pests referenced in Circular 11 - ICM Schedule for the Production of Christmas Trees, available on-line or upon request.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE INSECTS, DISEASES AND OTHER PROBLEMS LISTED IN THIS CALENDAR
Annosum Root Rot - Look for fruiting bodies (tough, leathery bracket-like conks) just below the duff on root collars of dead and dying trees. Conks may range in size from small white "buttons" to fruiting structures several inches wide which are brown above and white below.
Cone Insects - The most damaging insects attacking cones are cone maggots and coneworms. Cone maggots leave no visible exterior damage although they can consume up to 100% of seeds in a cone. To find these cone insects, dissect cones in May and June and look for larvae feeding on seeds and scales within cones. Tunnels made by larvae will be filled with frass. Coneworms spend the winter as young larvae on trees. Larvae mine needles near buds in early spring then move to buds and cones as new growth expands. Infested cones are covered with webbing and frass. Entrance holes are visible on the cones and large clean tunnels can be found inside. Other potentially damaging insects are spruce and pine seed moths and larch seed chalcids. These do not display external evidence of feeding and cones must be dissected to determine their presence.
Currants and Gooseberries (Ribes) - These plants serve as alternate hosts for the white pine blister rust fungus. In late April and early May, look for the developing green foliage of these plants. They leaf out before almost anything else and are therefore easy to locate at that time All Ribes have leaves that are borne alternately on the stem, all have 5 petaled flowers, and none have stipules (leaf-like structures at the base of leaf stalks).
Eastern Larch Beetle - Look for numerous small holes in the trunk and on large branches especially if trees are off color. The boring will produce a flow of resin in living tissue and dark brown boring dust. Adults are active from May through August. The tiny white larvae feed on the inner bark and only lightly score the wood.
Gypsy Moth - In June dark, hairy caterpillars with 5 pairs of blue dots followed by 6 pairs of red dots on their backs may move onto conifers from nearby hardwood stands. Larvae range in size from 1/4" to 2" as they mature.
Introduced Pine Sawfly - Starting in mid-June look for insect droppings and needle fragments caused by larvae feeding on old foliage. Check again in August for a second generation that may be larger and more destructive feeding on new foliage and twig bark as well as old foliage. The marbled black and yellow larvae blend in with the needles and twigs.
Larch Casebearer - In May look for small brown cigar-shaped cases on newly expanding foliage. Needles will brown and trees appear scorched from larval feeding. Newly hatched larvae mine needles again in August.
Larch Sawfly - Look for curled shoots caused by slits cut for egg laying and for greyish-green larva with black heads feeding on needle clusters. Larvae grow to 1" in length and feed in groups. They may be present on trees from June to September.
Lophodermium Needlecast - In spring, look for yellowing then browning of previous year needles. In the summer dead needles drop, leaving only tufts of new green growth on branch tips. In the fall, look for tiny, black, football-shaped fruiting bodies on dead needles.
Pales Weevil - In areas where pine has been cut in the past two years pales weevil can be a problem. Weevil adults feed on bark on stems of young trees and shoots of older trees. Look for dead and dying seedlings, flagging on older trees and patches of bare wood where bark has been chewed. Pales weevil adults feed at night and hide in the litter under trees during the day. The white, C-shaped grubs live beneath the bark of roots on fresh pine stumps and do not feed on live trees.
Pine-Pine Gall Rust - Look for globe-shaped swellings on stems or branches at any time of year. In mid-May through mid-June, look for sporulation by the causal fungus (yellow-orange spores) on the surface of galls.
Porcupine Feeding - Look for patches of bark gnawed from tree stems, often completely girdling the tree. On smaller conifers, branches may be cropped and stubby, with only a few twigs left untouched at tree tops. Partially chewed branches often accumulate beneath trees which have been attacked.
Saratoga Spittlebug - Look for flagging, yellowing or reddening of twig foliage on young pine. In early July check twigs for tannish-brown bugs with a white arrow-shaped marking on their backs. Adults are approximately 3/8" long, winged and wedge-shaped. Nymphs are found on a variety of herbs and shrubs with older nymphs preferring sweetfern. Nymphs cover themselves in a frothy mass of spittle (young nymphs are black with red abdomens while older nymphs are dark brown).
Scleroderris Canker - Look for an orange-brown discoloration that starts at the base of needle clusters and moves outward toward needle tips as the disease progresses. Look also for cankers on branches or main stems of saplings. Removal of dead bark from faces or margins of cankers commonly reveals a yellow-green pigment staining the wood.
Shinleaf - A low, perennial herb 6-20 inches high with one to three inch rounded leaves clustered at the base of stems. Up to 20 white, nodding 5-petaled fragrant flowers may be borne on a single upright stem in June or July.
Single Delight - A low, perennial herb about six inches high with one inch or smaller rounded leaves whorled or clustered at the base of stems. A single, fragrant, drooping white or pink flower may be borne in June on upright stems.
Sirococcus Shoot Blight - Look for brown (killed) shoot tips which bend downward in shepherd's crook fashion, or relatively straight shoots with brown needles bending sharply downward. In nurseries and greenhouses, infected seedlings usually die in patches.
Spider Mites - Look for yellowish to rusty brown mottled needles. Mottling is apt to be more severe at needle bases. Needles heavily damaged from mite feeding may eventually turn brown and fall from trees. Mottling tends to persist on needles damaged in previous years so is conspicuous year-round. New foliage may become mottled by July. Mite populations may be assessed by holding a sheet of white paper beneath a branch, then tapping the branch vigorously. Mites will drop to the paper where they may be easily seen and their numbers assessed. If only an occasional mite is found, there is little need for concern. But if mites are abundant, controls should be applied quickly.
Spruce Bud Scale - Bud scale insects are round, reddish brown, 1/8" in diameter and found clustered at the base of new twigs. They may easily be missed because they resemble spruce buds. Spruce bud scales are found more frequently on lower branches and often have black mold associated with them. High populations of scales can kill branches.
Spruce Budworm - Larvae begin mining needles, unopened buds and male flowers in spring before bud break. Later the tan larvae with black heads spin silk between needles, twigs and cones as they feed on new foliage. Mature larvae are 3/4 - 1" in length and dark reddish-brown with white spots. They will feed on older needles once the new ones are gone and pupate in mid to late June.
Spruce Coneworm - Tiny larvae mine needles near buds in early spring then move to buds and cones as new growth expands. The tan larvae with black heads finish feeding in late June. Spruce coneworm are often found in conjunction with spruce budworm outbreaks and will eat budworm larvae once foliage is gone.
Sweetfern - A deciduous shrub, one to three feet high, which grows in dry, sunny areas. Leaves are narrow, about three to six inches long and half an inch wide, with dentate lobes and are very fragrant when crushed. Catkins, an inch or less long, are often present clustered at the ends of branches.
White Pine Weevil - In late April, on warm days, look for small mottled brown weevils (snout beetles) about 1/4 inch long feeding and laying eggs just below bud clusters on leaders of white pine. Look also for pitch flow associated with this activity. In July, look for wilting in new terminal growth on trees due to larval feeding activity. The larvae responsible are white, slightly curved, up to 1/4 inch long and present under the bark. Portions of trees with larvae present should be destroyed.
Yellowheaded Spruce Sawfly - In June, examine new growth for small larvae with reddish-yellow heads and yellowish-green bodies. When fully grown in early July, larvae are about 3/4" long. Sawflies often feed gregariously.