Budworm field tour one of the most valuable ever

By Allison Kanoti, Maine Forest Service

Maine Forest Service entomologists Charlene Donahue and Allison Kanoti participated in a spruce budworm tour conceived by Eben Sypitkowski, resource manager for Baxter State Park’s Scientific Forestry Management Area and Gordon Mott, a member of the Advisory Committee.  The group of Maine managers and scientists was hosted by Alain Dupont, director of Forestry and Environment Division of SOPFIM; Robert Johns, Canadian Forest Service researcher, and Irving Woodlands forester Daniel Arsenault.  Gordon and Virginia Mott spent a weekend planning the tour with Alain and Rob in late June, and graciously invited MFS entomologist Colleen Teerling for that trip.

Participants agreed that this was one of the most valuable field tours they had ever attended.  That sort of quality does not happen by chance.  Recognition is due to the hosts and organizers for all the work they put into developing the tour and to the participants for their thoughtful interactions throughout.

On July 10, some of the group toured portions of the Black Brook District of Irving Woodlands.  There they observed weevil-resistant Norway spruce, white and black spruce plantations; discussed intensive management approaches and various strategies for diversifying forest regeneration and structure.

The largest part of the tour was a full day on the north shore with more than a dozen stops between Forestville and Baie-Comeau.  July 11th’s well-thought-out stops included observations of a variety of conditions including stands treated with Bt (a biological pesticide) and those left untreated, observation of damage on fir and spruces; observations of impacts in different soil moisture regimes and a tour of the Baie-Comeau field laboratory.  Sampling and management tactics were discussed.  A variety of budworm life stages were present: Bt-killed and sickened larvae were observed as were healthy 6th-instar larvae; Pupae were abundant; and moths were emerging, mating and depositing eggs.

The tour concluded on July 12, with stops in the Matapédia Valley en route to Maine.  There, in June, Gordon Mott had suspected budworm damage.  By July, the damage was unmistakable—with reddened foliage ringing the host trees and larvae, pupae and moths observed.

Hosts: Alain Dupont (SOPFIM); Rob Johns (Canadian Forest Service); Daniel Arsenault (Irving Woodlands)

Participants: Jensen Bissell, Austin Bradgon, Eben Sypitkowski, (Baxter State Park); Charlene Donahue, Allison Kanoti (Maine Forest Service ); Gordon Mott, Virginia Mott (Almanac Mountain Forestry); Brian Roth (University of Maine, CFRU) and Joe Wiley (Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife).

tour participants
Standing from left: D. Gordon Mott, Allison Kanoti, Brian Roth, Charlene Donahue, Jensen Bissell, Joe Wiley, Alain Dupont, Rob Johns; Kneeling: Eben Sypitkowski, Austin Bradgon. Photo by Virginia Mott.

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