AUGUST IS TREE CHECK MONTH - LOOK FOR ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) wants to remind the public that August is Tree Check Month. This is the best time to spot the round, drill-like holes made by the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), a highly destructive invasive pest that destroys trees.
Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of America’s treasured hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash and poplar trees. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure to save infested trees. Infected trees will need to be removed to keep the beetle from spreading to nearby trees, as well as to protect homes and other personal property, since infested trees will die and can drop branches.
The beetle is slow to spread on its own during the early stages of an infestation, so early detection and reporting is critical to containing it. People can also help by not moving firewood from areas quarantined because of the ALB, which can transport the beetle hidden inside to new locations.
The beetle has distinctive markings that are easy to recognize:
• Long antennae with black and white bands, longer than the insect’s body.
• A shiny, jet-black body, about 1” to 1 ½” long, with white spots.
• Six legs with possible bluish-colored feet.
Signs of infestation:
• Round exit holes, about the size of a dime or smaller, in tree trunks and branches.
• Shallow oval or round scars in the bark, where the adult beetle has chewed an egg site.
• Sawdust-like material, called frass, on the ground around the tree or in the branches.
• Dead branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree.
After seeing signs of the beetle:
• Make note of what was found and where. Take a photo, if possible.
• Try to capture the insect by placing it in a container and freezing it. Doing so will preserve it for easier identification.
Report findings by calling 1-866-702-9938 or see http://www.hungrypests.com/the-threat/asian-longhorned-beetle.php
For more information about the Asian longhorned beetle, ways to keep it from spreading and eradication program activities, visit http://www.hungrypests.com/the-threat/asian-longhorned-beetle.php. For local inquiries or to be forwarded to your State Plant Health Director, call 1-866-702-9938.
SIGN UP FOR 2017 COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM
Apply by August 30, 2017
A Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program is again offered to eligible non-industrial private landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service. The primary objective of this program is to reduce the spread of cogongrass to new areas by helping private landowners control or eradicate existing infestations. Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica L.) is a non-native, invasive grass that is established in Florida and several other southeastern states. In addition to being regulated as a state and federal noxious weed, cogongrass is a pest plant in 73 countries, and has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Worst Weeds in the World.” Cogongrass infestations negatively affect tree regeneration, growth and survival, as well as wildlife habitat, native plant diversity, forage quality and property values. They also increase the risk of wildfires and alter fire behavior. See http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg202 for more information about this pest.
The Cost-Share Program offers reimbursement of up to 50% of the cost of herbicide treatment of cogongrass infestations on non-industrial private land for two consecutive years. The maximum reimbursement is $100 per year for treatment of up to one acre, and $75/acre per year for any additional area. There is no minimum size, and qualified applicants may apply to treat up to a maximum of 133 acres of infested area. Applications must be submitted through the County Forester where the property is located. For more information see the Program website at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Cogongrass-Program or contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester.
2017 LONGLEAF PINE PRIVATE LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Deadline Extended to August 31 for central FL area
The Florida Forest Service is still accepting applications for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentives Program in Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties. The objective of this Program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by helping non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners to make the long-term investment required to establish and maintain this valuable ecosystem. Toward this end, the program offers NIPF landowners technical guidance and incentive payments for conducting certain approved forest management practices that help establish or improve longleaf pine stands.
The program offers incentive payments for: longleaf pine seedling establishment, timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, mechanical underbrush treatments, invasive exotic plant treatment. All payments are made at specified per-acre or per-seedling rates.
This extension is limited to Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties. Qualified landowners may apply for up to four approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres, and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. Only one application per landowner is permitted per year.
Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester to apply.
FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDAR OF EVENTS
AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at email@example.com.
SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE NEW DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!
Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
GOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?
Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ Wow, there’s a publication about that?
FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:
- Report chipmunk sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/chipmunk/getlatlong.aspx
- Report panther sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/PantherSightings/getlatlong.aspx
- Report mink sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/mink/getlatlong.aspx
- Report black bear sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/fwri/blackbear/getlatlong.aspx
- Report southern hognose snake (Heterodon simus), short-tailed snake (Lampropeltis extenuata), and Florida pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus) here:
UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
SOUTHERN REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer