Presque Isle, Maine
WAGM spoke with Neil Thompson (UMFK/CFRU) about the rising budworm population in the Saint John Valley. “Christmas tree farmers of course have a very high standard for aesthetics so when the budworm chews the leaves off the tree that can no longer be a sellable Christmas tree because the thing you’re hanging ornaments off of is halfway bare or completely bare.”
The University of Maine Orono has built a new L2 lab, the first of its kind in the nation. Pheromone traps put out by the Maine Forest Service and forestland owners are being processed for the 2021 season. L2 samples assess how many overwintering larvae are on a given branch of a spruce/fir tree and also provide information on population density. These two programs can help Christmas tree growers make informed decisions around managing their stands for budworm.