Vol. IV No. 2 1/15/2023
Notes from Agriculture and Forestry Commission (AFC), January 9, Hybrid meeting
- Matt Boudreau, Chair, Abigail Fredsall, Lisa Bozzuto, Shelby Marshall,
- Erik Rasmussen via Zoom
- Others present named as they speak
- Minutes of December 5 meeting approved as written
- Single agenda meeting: woolly adelgid
- What does it look like? A cotton ball under the greenery
- What does it attack? Hemlocks
- Why this meeting? As members of ConCom and AFC have made site visits, they observed infestation of woolly adelgid on hemlocks in Ice Glen and around Lake Mahkeenac.
- Bozutto reported that up to 72% of the land around the lake is still forested. She asked what percent of the forest is hemlocks? That is, what impact will the woolly adelgid killing the hemlocks have on the lake?
- Tom LaBelle researched the question and found (in a book by David Foster) that widespread death of hemlocks will affect the amount of light and the dead trees will be replaced with seedlings
- Peter Grima (forester) said death killing hemlocks is gradual — over years — big. Three major concerns are: invasives; how to salvage value, and getting rid of "hazard trees"
- Sally Underwood-Miller understood that sugar maples naturally replace and most often replace dead hemlocks
- Jess Toro (tree expert) said the hemlocks are not playing a major role on lake but are playing major role on waterways approaching lake for example Shadow Brook, Bullard, Gould Meadow and Tanglewood
- Bozutto discussed need for a replanting plan but pointed out that while 72% of land around lake is forested, it is divided into many small lots. Planting will vary from owner to owner; difficult to have a single plan
- Toro pointed out that replanting is not necessarily one to one. To replicate the form and fuction of the hemlocks, she recommends planting a variety of trees to replicate the canopy, the breath and function of a single hemlock. Someone suggested that basswood and tulip poplar are good replacement choices
- Chair suggested this is an ongoing discussion and it will take time to reach the point of making recommendations
Photo: Xavier Letteron