From a broader perspective, this is a great chance to remind producers that we will addressing the spotted lanternfly issue directly at the December 11th Ohio Maple Days event in Ashland. And not just talking about spotted lanternfly either – rather, the focus will be to equip Ohio’s maple producers to be trained early detectors of this nasty forest invasive insect pest that poses a very real threat to maples and other native Ohio trees.
Past posts and webinars are also available on spotted lanternfly:
Given that Ohio State is a university and has well over 60,000 students enrolled, making the statement – “students were involved” – seems like a needless statement of the obvious. But in the case of the Mansfield Maple program and larger Ecolab initiative, the fact needs to be explicitly stated. Students have been heavily involved.
The maple program itself is the fruition of a student report inventorying the Mansfield campus’ forest resources back in 2013. A simple charge to “explore potential of the mature forest for a maple sugarbush” and subsequent student effort to do the project scoping have led to a whole host of tangible outcomes, not the least of which is a re-invigoration of the School of Environment and Natural Resources’ (SENR) commitment to non-timber forest products.
And student involvement has continued to this very day. Ecolab student interns assisted in the Mansfield sugarbush installation and have participated annually in tapping and other system maintenance tasks. Students have performed invasive species management in the maple stand and catalogued each individual tapped tree throughout the sugarbush. A student research team helped establish the complimentary crop tree release demonstration area that targets sap-producing maples as one of the focal stand management objectives. And last year, a Capstone group of SENR seniors explored new ways to assess and management for sugarbush tree health and vigor. The deliverable outcome of their project was a well-crafted Story-Map linked here. We encourage you to view the high-quality work of our Forestry and Wildlife seniors and learn about crop tree management, the threat of invasive plant species to our native biodiversity, and the potential effects of climate change on future sugarbush resilience.
Students have been an integral part of making OSU Maple a success. By purchasing maple syrup and showing your support of the program, you can make sure student support remains a centerpiece of the initiative moving forward. We are proud of our students and are thrilled to know that Ohio’s maples will be in safe hands for future generations.
Since then, agencies and officials have been scrambling to assess and monitor the location searching for additional evidence of the forest pest. Beth Burger of the Columbus Dispatch wrote a nice article yesterday providing more details about the initial detection site and subsequent actions taken to lock down further spread.
You can expect to see more about the spotted lanternfly in coming months as the second ACER grant award contains support to equip and empower Ohio’s maple producers to be active participants in spotted lanternfly surveillance. In the meantime, be thankful for Ohio’s fleet of professional agencies and organizations who are actively working to combat spread of spotted lanternfly and other invasive species to protect our state’s great forests.
Amy Stone, OSU Extension educator for Lucas County, Ohio, will be presenting a webinar on November 13th from 10 AM-noon on the spotted lanternfly. From state and national spotted lanternfly updates to the latest on host plant distributions and invasive pest insect research – you won’t want to miss this one.
Maple producers across the region should be informed on this invasive forest pest and be part of the solution to ensure early detection and rapid quarantine limits damage on Ohio’s forests.
As the weather shifts from the dog days of summer to the cool feel of fall, maple producers begin ramping up their activity in the maple woods to prepare for the upcoming syrup season. Unfortunately, there is a new forest pest with a sweet tooth for trees in the Acer genus – the spotted lanternfly – that producers should keep an eye out for this fall. And if your woods has any tree-of-heaven nearby, you should be extra vigilant and watchful for the spotted lanternfly. While a spotted lanternfly infestation has not been confirmed in Ohio yet, they are documented in Pennsylvania just across the state line. The issue is urgent!!
Here are some great resources that relay the importance of spotted lanternfly surveillance and train you how to be an early detection participant in the fight against spotted lanternfly. Our maple woods may depend on it!!