National Park Service offers workshop to detect invasive insect

Postponed to March 15

BAR HARBOR, MAINE – The National Park Service and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry are hosting an ash tree bark peeling workshop to learn how to search for the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive forest insect pest. The public is invited to attend this free workshop on Wednesday, March 15, from 9 am to mid-afternoon in the fire truck garage at Acadia National Park headquarters, 20 McFarland Hill Drive, which is located off Eagle Lake Road (State Route 233) in Bar Harbor.

This highly invasive exotic forest insect pest has not yet been detected in Maine, but it has been found just across the state border in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Ash tree bark peeling is a way to detect EABs using girdled trap trees. 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 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. Two small ash trees were girdled in the park this spring and additional trap trees were girdled by cooperating landowners on the island. These trees will be cut, peeled, and inspected for signs of the EAB.

The public is welcome to drop in at any time during the workshop and learn how to correctly peel ash trees to detect the EAB. No reservations are required. In the event of a winter storm, the workshop will be held on Thursday, February 16. For more information, call Jesse Wheeler, park biologist, at 207-288-8722.