Trees are an important aspect of all of our lives. They provide many essential environmental, economical and societal services. Trees provide shelter and shade, reduce noise, wind, and erosion, cool air temperatures, support storm water management, provide wildlife habitat, absorb pollutants and carbon dioxide, support our economy and carry cultural significance among other significant benefits.
Monitoring trees for signs of invasive species is an efficient way to discover new populations before they become established and threaten native populations. While tree health can be affected by other factors besides invasive species, a combination of signs should prompt a closer inspection of the tree to be sure.
Trees are part of our everyday lives and casual monitoring can be done by everyone, regardless if you own property.
Our island’s trails are travelled by many and are susceptible to an increased rate of introduction. You can help support monitoring efforts by monitoring your favorite trail. Monitoring ensures that these trails can be enjoyed for years to come and help reduce hazards and maintenance on trails.
Firewood is one of the main pathways insects and disease are introduced from outside areas. Finding signs of invasives in campgrounds could mean you are catching an outbreak early. So, when you’re out for a walk around the park’s grounds, consider inspecting tree health along the way.
The majority of PEI is privately owned and, therefore, it is likely introductions in these areas could go unnoticed unless landowners do some monitoring. Monitoring can prevent intensive maintenance operations down the road. Consult an arborist to protect the economic and environmental value of your land.
Cities can be hot spots for new introductions. Charlottetown has a tree database named treekeeper for all of its street and park trees, and it is available to the public. If you’re interested in monitoring for specific tree pests you could use it to map a route and monitor specific tree species (Like Emerald Ash Borer and True Ash Trees).
First identify the tree species on which you discovered the sign. Many insects or disease are host specific and this could help narrow down which species you may be dealing with.
Next, examine the tree in detail. Start from far away and begin by looking at the crown and working your way down, does it seem to be in good health? Then get up close and examine the tree's trunk. Are there exit holes, oozing sap or any other abnormalities? Don't forget to look up when under the tree and look into the canopy. Take notes and pictures of any sign.
Next do a little research online, starting with what tree species you found it on and then narrowing it down with what signs you observed. If you are confident in your ID, you can make reports in EDDMapS or you are welcome to send us an email if questions remain.