ELLSWORTH — The Maine Forest Service and Maine Department of Agriculture will hold a demonstration and public information day 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Wednesday , Aug. 17, on high-canopy, invasive-insect surveying for two invasive species, the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) at Birdsacre (rain date Thursday, Aug. 18).
Tony Aman, a professional arborist from Penobscot and a Birdsacre and Master Gardener volunteer, will demonstrate his professional tree-climbing skills used to survey for ALB and HWA at the sanctuary
Two trees at the sanctuary have permanently established climbing ropes into the forest canopy which Aman uses to hunt for the invasive insects. The sanctuary is a high-risk preserve for these two invasive insects because of the visitor traffic to the area from places already infested with HWA and the potential for infested firewood being brought in from areas already with the invasive wood-boring insects, according to department officials.
Not yet found in Maine, the Asian longhorned beetle, a distinctive black-and-white beetle with long antennae, kills maples, birches, poplars, willows and other tree species. It has been found in Worcester, Mass., as well as in parts of New York, New Jersey and Toronto, Canada.
Hemlock woolly adelgid, a small, aphid-like insect covered with white, waxy wool-like material, has been found in at least 16 states, including Maine. It has spread and now has been found as far up the coast as Bristol.
In addition to the tree-climbing demonstrations an information booth, guided walks and activities for children, including a scavenger hunt and “bug bag” toss. Entomology interns wearing ALB and HWA costumes also will be present.
The event is being held in recognition of national Invasive Species Awareness Month.