SOUTH BERWICK — The Maine Forest Service and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands will conduct a survey for hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect species that destroys hemlock trees at Vaughan Woods State Park, beginning at 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 17. Your assistance is welcome.
The Department of Conservation reports that HWA already has been found in the southern coastal section of Maine and is thought to be spreading up the coast. It is known to be established less than 2 miles from the Vaughan Woods State Park boundaries. An associated invasive species, elongate hemlock scale, also has been found in the same vicinity. To date neither insect has been found at the park.
Volunteers are invited to join Park Manager Glenn Dochtermann and Maine Forest Service Entomologist Allison Kanoti to learn how to recognize hemlock woolly adelgid and elongate hemlock scale. After learning about the insects, we will examine hemlocks at the park for their signs.
The most obvious sign of HWA is the covering of wool-like wax filaments produced as the insect matures. The woolly masses generally range from about 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch in diameter. They are most visible from late fall to early summer on the undersides of the outermost branch tips of hemlock trees.
Survey participants should wear appropriate clothing and hiking boots to walk the park trails.
In case of inclement weather call (207) 287-3147 for an update on the status of the event.
For more information, go to: http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/HemlockWoollyAdelgid.htm