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FOOD FOR THOUGHT 
March 2014

 
In This Issue
- Invasive Species
- Forest Pests
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Greetings,  

 

Unfortunately, New Hampshire is home to a variety of unwanted plant and animal species. Some are more harmful than others.  In this issue, we primarily discuss two forest pests that we all need to be concerned about. Please keep an eye on your local trees as well as those in public areas while you are out enjoying spring weather (I'm sure it will be here soon!) 
 
In addition to the forest pests we discussed, we need to watch out for other types of invasive species. For instance, you may see spiked plants with attractive purple flowers on the edge of a pond. This is most likely Purple Loosestrife which is considered an invasive species. It becomes so prevalent that it chokes the natural water flow in waterways.  The Burning Bush has lovely red foliage in the fall, but it too is an invasive species. Birds can easily carry their seeds far and wide where they will quickly take root and compete with native plants for water and nutrients.  For a complete list of plants considered invasive in New Hampshire, click  

Best Wishes,
Debbi
NH Ag in the Classroom
 
Calendar

Ag Literacy Day
March 25th, 2014
 
please contact this office if you are interested in sharing the book "Down on the Farm: Chickens" with your local elementary class
 
Find us at:
 
NHSTA Spring Symposium
March 22nd, 2014
Pinkerton Academy
 
 
Contacts

Debbi Cox

State Coordinator

nhaitc@nhfarmbureau.org

603-224-1934

295 Sheep Davis Road

Concord, NH  03301

 

Deb Robie, 

Grafton County Coordinator

Invasive Species

New Hampshire is known for its spectacular flora and fauna.  Unfortunately, there are a variety of invasive plants and animals lurking on the landscape. When some non-native or non-indigenous species are introduced to an area, they can invade the region by overtaking  sources of light, nutrients, water and space.  When the native species are compromised, it can create economic and environmental problems. If the establishment of these non-natives in a landscape fundamentally alters its natural composition and function, they are considered invasive and may need human intervention to slow their spread.

  

In New Hampshire, a list of banned plant species has been created.  By law, sale and movement of these plants is prohibited.  As stewards of the land, we need to learn more about these specific problems, learn to identify the prohibited species and remove them from our property.

 

For more information, visit:
 
Forest Pests

 

The Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle
 
About a year ago, a 1/2" long, flat backed,
metallic green beetle found its way into New Hampshire. In 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer made its first U.S. appearance in southeastern Michigan and has since become the most destructive forest insect in North America. Entomologists suspect that it arrived inside wood packing materials from Asia.  Since then, it has killed tens of millions of ash trees in more than 20 Midwestern and Eastern states. The larvea of the Emerald Ash Borer tunnel under the bark disrupting the tree's water and food transport systems.  Over the course of 3 to 5 years, the tree starves and eventually dies. 
 
Although the adults are competent flyers, they generally only fly short distances when there are ash trees nearby, laying 90% of their eggs within 300 feet of where they emerged. This means that the majority of new infestations are a result of humans transporting hardwood firewood, ash wood products and ash nursery stock.  The beetle
can hide in logs, stumps, wood chips, nursery stock and firewood. Signs of infestation include S-shaped trails in the ash tree's cambium (just under the bark) and D-shaped exit holes in the bark. Other signs include water suckers on the trunk, crown thinning and heavy woodpecker activity.  
 
If you suspect an infestation, take a picture of the evidence and upload to www.nhbugs.org.  Preventative measures include reducing your transportation of firewood - burn it where you buy it. One county in NH, Merrimack County, has banned the movement of firewood, nursery stock and ash wood products out of the county.  To do so requires a compliance agreement indicating that the wood has been properly treated with heat or chemicals to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer. 
 
Another invasive woodboring insect is the Asian Longhorned Beetle.  Although it has yet to be found in New Hampshire, residents need to be vigilant in searching for signs of this pest.  The beetle was first discovered in the United States in New York and has since been found in MA, NJ, OH and IL, as well as Toronto, Canada.  It too is thought to have hitchhiked to this country from Asia in solid wood packing materials.  Tens of thousands of host trees have been lost as a direct result since the detection of this beetle in 1996. Introduction of this insect affect the lumber, maple syrup, nursery and tourism industries. However, early detection can dramatically improve the chance to eradicate this intruder at a lower cost and less impact to the state's residents and businesses.

 

The adult Asian Longhorned Beetle is shiny black with white spots, ranges from 1 to 1 inches long and has long antennae with bands of black and white.  The adults emerge from hardwood trees between July and October by

chewing their way out leaving large, round exit holes.  Following mating, the female chews depressions into the bark where she lays her eggs. In addition to visual identification of the beetles, infestations can be identified by the egg-laying sites, the 3/8" round exit holes, tunneling deep in the wood and premature branch death. It is not to be confused with the native White Spotted Sawyer Beetle which is bronzy-black with a distinctive white dot at the base of
its wing covers.  These harmless natives attack distressed conifers and emerge as early as May. If you suspect a possible infestation, if you have not positively identified the beetle, it can also be reported on www.nhbugs.org.  Please remember to keep your eyes open and DO NOT MOVE FIREWOOD.

 

NH Agriculture in the Classroom | 295 Sheep Davis Rd | Concord, New Hampshire 03301
603-224-1934