ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), the aphid-like insect that assaults and might in the end kill hemlock bushes, was not too long ago found contained in the park.
The Islander reported final week that the bugs had been discovered coating the branches of some hemlock bushes on Land and Backyard Protect property on the Cobblestone Bridge, which is just some steps south of the boundary with Acadia.
Quickly after that discovery, HWA was discovered on the Acadia aspect of the property line, in accordance with Jesse Wheeler, the park’s biologist/vegetation program supervisor.
“We detected it on branches of younger hemlock bushes and older hemlock bushes, brief ones and tall ones, on the fringe of each the carriage highway and the Jordan Stream Path.
“Probably, the infestation of adelgid has been there for a few years or extra. But it surely hasn’t come to the extent the place we’re seeing a decline within the well being or vigor of the bushes. Proper now, they give the impression of being pretty wholesome; they’ve darkish inexperienced needles. A lot of the needles are remaining on the bushes which have adelgid on them.”
Wheeler additionally discovered one small, contaminated department on a tree on the Amphitheater Bridge over Little Harbor Brook.
If folks or horses brush in opposition to an contaminated department, they will switch the adelgid to a wholesome hemlock tree. So, Acadia employees have pruned hemlock branches alongside the paths and carriage highway the place the adelgid has been discovered to attempt to forestall additional migration of the insect.
Maine Forest Service entomologist Colleen Teerling and members of her workforce might be in Acadia Aug. 11 to survey the hemlocks within the Jordan Stream hall.
“They’ll assist us attempt to confirm what the infestation stage actually is there, they usually can present suggestions on doable subsequent steps,” Wheeler stated.
He stated the U.S. Forest Service has a Forest Well being Safety program that may present related service and presumably cash for pest suppression measures.
“The Park Service doesn’t have numerous funding sources for this that we may instantly go to,” Wheeler stated.
He has recognized that it was only a matter of time earlier than HWA would make its method into Acadia.
“We’ve seen it in some forest settings and a few yard settings for a bit now on Desert Island and notably within the city of Mount Desert,” he stated. “However that is by far essentially the most I’ve seen in a forested setting, so it’s nonetheless form of stunning.”
Wheeler stated he doesn’t anticipate HWA to result in numerous tree deaths anytime quickly, however he urged property homeowners to be looking out for indicators of the insect on their hemlocks. He stated they will contact the Maine Forest Service for data and recommendation.
Dick Broom covers the cities of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island Excessive College and the college system board and superintendent’s workplace. He enjoys mountaineering along with his golden retriever and discovering new locations for her to swim. [email protected]