Spruce budworm testing lab will support monitoring of destructive insect

A new testing lab at the University of Maine will help state landowners monitor their trees for the presence of the destructive eastern spruce budworm, a key step in tracking and mitigating a developing outbreak that could have severe impacts on Maine’s forest land and economy.

UMaine’s Spruce Budworm Testing Lab, funded through a Cooperative Forestry Research Unit grant, will conduct the testing of 900 branch samples from 300 sites across Maine to provide a yearly snapshot of spruce budworm population densities across the majority of the state. The lab also will conduct fee-for-service testing ($150/site) for landowners who are not CFRU members. Previously, branch samples had to be sent to Canada for testing. UMaine’s new lab will help land managers concerned about the presence of spruce budworm to get answers more quickly and target interventions accordingly.

Read the full story at UMaine News.