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Insect-Pests Will Soon Kill All Of The Red Pine Trees Within Acadia National Park

September 7th, 2017

Insect-Pests Will Soon Kill All Of The Red Pine Trees Within Acadia National Park

Insect-pests are by no means uncommon in the United States. But it is rare to see an entire species of tree wiped out as a result of one insect. Unfortunately, this is precisely what has been happening in Acadia National Park. The scenic beauty of the national park is not what it once was, as the entire area is littered with dead tree matter, as well as unsightly dead trees that can barely stand. All of this damage is being caused by just one tiny insect-pest that is known as the red pine scale.

The insects starve red pines of their nutrients, slowly killing them. In response to the ongoing red pine crisis, a meeting was held that included experts, and staff members working for the national park. According to the experts, there is no way of preventing red pine scale activity. When it comes to saving the very few red pine trees that remain within the park, there is little that can be done. However, nearby residents can help to prevent the further spread of tree damage. According to Judy Hazen Connery, the park’s natural resources specialist, gardeners and residents should leave plant materials where they are, and this includes firewood and even landscaping materials. Also, if a resident living near the park is offered a plant or a rare cutting from someone out of state, then do not accept it. Since the insect-pests that are responsible for the mass tree deaths are microscopic in size, then they obviously cannot be spotted on plant life. Visitors to Acadia National Park and those living nearby have also been asked to report any signs of damage to red pine trees. By doing these things, the spread of the insect-pest can, at least, be slowed.

Damage to the trees was first noticed back in 2007, but park staff could not identify the insect-pest responsible. Soon thereafter The Maine Forest Service began to investigate the mysterious tree deaths. However, even these experts could not pinpoint the cause. Finally, in 2014 cuttings from the red pine trees were sent to the Maine Forest Service, and the scale insects were spotted. The only good news is that the red pine damage will not spread to other types of trees.

How do you think the dead red pine trees should be disposed of in Acadia National Park?

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