Township of The Archipelago Forest Health
Environment - Forests
  1. altIntroduction
  2. Township of The Archipelago Forest Health Reports
  3. Trees of the Township of The Archipelago
  4. Forest Regions & Common Stressors of the Township of The Archipelago
  5. Common Forest Pests Present in The Archipelago
  6. Common Forest Pests Potential in The Archipelago
  7. Forest Best Management Practices
  8. Links & Resources

Introduction

There are concerns over a range of invasive forest pests threatening our local forests including the emerald ash borer, Asian long-horned beetle, beech bark disease, and hemlock wooly adelgid. This webpage provides an overview of the trees, forest regions, and forest pests in the Parry Sound-Muskoka area, as well as pests that might arrive in the near future. Where possible, control measures and references (for further reading) have also been provided. Since many of these pests arrive from southern Ontario, and some are at risk of spreading north from this region, the best practice for residents and cottagers is to not bring/move firewood, skids, and wood products.

Township of the Archipelago -€“ Forest Health Documents



Trees and Forests of the Township of The Archipelago

In order to identify forest pests we need to have a solid understand of what trees and forests types are typically present. Local information about the types of trees and forest conditions can be found in the €œTownship of The Archipelago€™s Caring For Property€ document, which outlines 13 Forest Zones with the prefix €˜N€™ assigned to the north half of the Township (Harrison & Shawanaga) and €˜S€™ assigned to the south half (Cowper & Conger). This information is provided to assist residents and cottagers to identify the types of tree species on your property, as well as any associated potential stresses (e.g. pests). This in turn will allow you to make more informed decisions as to whether there are best practices and/or measures you can take to help maintain the health of your trees/forests.

Common Forest Concerns Present in The Archipelago

The following pests are known to occur in the Parry Sound-Muskoka area based on confirmed reportings.

Pest Summary

Identification

Distribution

Best Practices & Controls

Beech Bark Disease(BBD)

- A non-native insect-fungus complex caused by the beech scale (Cryptococcus fagisuga) and the canker fungus (Neonectria faginata)

- Adult beech scale are small, oval insects 1 mm long

- Fungus is red, appears in circular or lemon-shaped cankers

- Either vertical patches of dead bark or encircling the tree

- Cankers often have raised edges and cracks

- Crown die back, dead branches may be early signs

- Branches above large patches of dead bark show signs of decline, producing little to no foliage

- Usually larger trees in a stand are attacked and show signs first

- White €˜fuzz€™ appears on the bark

- Strong presence in the Archipelago and Baysville areas

- Spread in Blackstone Lake, Crane Lake, Healey Lake

- Extensive damage in Killbear Provincial Park and Wasauksing First Nation

- As of 2012, BBD has spread throughout the majority of Ontario€™s beech population

- Satellite disease centres (those far from its main range) may be the result of moving firewood from infested sites

- Clear cutting of all beech trees may be necessary if trees pose a hazard to people, animals or property

- Gradual and selective removal of defective, diseased trees, plus suppression of susceptible beech regeneration might promote a generation of potentially resistant beech and prove the most effective, long-term approach

- The MNRF is working with Michigan State University to protect trees from beech scale with the insecticide TreeAzin, a botanical insecticide derived from the nuts of the neem tree

Gypsy Moth

Lymantria dispar

- Accidentally introduced to Massachusetts, from Europe, in 1869 by Professor L. Trouvelot while trying to develop a silkworm industry in North America

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- Larvae: full-grown larvae are hairy and range in length from 35-90 mm, pairs of five blue and six red dots along their backs

- Adult Female Moth: winged but too heavily bodied for flight, mostly white, wingspan between 60-70 mm, prominent dark wavy lines cross the forewings

- Adult Male Moth: dark brown to beige, erratic flier, dark wavy lines cross the forewings, wingspan 35-40 mm

- Confirmed presence in S. Ontario, as far north as Sault St. Marie

- Low levels in the Archipelago, some defoliation near Magnetawan in 2013 and 2014, likely an extension of a persistent outbreak in the Sudbury Area

- Isolated outbreaks in Pointe au Baril islands area

- Prefers oak, basswood, willow, Manitoba maple, white birch, poplar, apple, tamarack, mountain ash, alder, and hawthorn

- Will also predate beech, eastern white pine, white spruce, and eastern hemlock

- Place a band of burlap around the trunks at chest height on a host tree during the larval period (spring), check under the bands at mid-day and destroy any larvae or pupae found

- New egg (darker in colour) masses can be scraped from trees into a bucket and destroyed, do not leave the egg masses on the ground as the eggs will survive

- Extreme conditions of cold can kill eggs

- Parasites, squirrels and birds feed directly on the eggs or larvae

- The fungus Entomophaga maimaiga can cause extensive mortality under damp conditions, and may persist from year to year in gypsy moth populations

- A naturally occurring virus called nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV) causes the most extensive mortality of larvae at outbreak levels

- Bacillus thuringiensis (Btk), applied by an arborist, to the foliage once the larvae appear in late May is an effective control (foliage should be 40-50% expanded when Bt is applied)

Dutch Elm Disease

- Caused by a vascular

wilt fungus,

Ophiostoma ulmi which is carried via two species of beetles:

the European elm bark beetle and the native elm bark beetle

- Leaves wilt and curl

- Leaves turn yellow and brown in summer

- Branches begin to dieback and then result in death

- Brown staining can be seen on the side of the tree when bark is peeled back

- In northern and eastern Ontario the disease is found in scattered locations

- Can be spread from plant to plant through root grafts between adjacent trees

- Remove dying and recently killed elm trees

- For individual trees of high ornamental value, injecting a fungicide into the roots appears to be effective in disease control, this is available only through specialized tree-service companies

Introduced Pine Sawfly

Diprion similis (Hartig)

- Adult: females have a saw-like structure at the tip of the abdomen

- Larvae: up to 28 mm long, black heads, bodies yellow and white spots on black backgrounds

- Defoliation begins in upper crown of trees but in fall can encompass entire tree, branch mortality may occur or, in extreme cases, the whole tree may die

- Remains at low levels, there are isolated populations, such as the Pointe au Baril islands area

- Eastern white pine is the preferred host, it can be found on all pines, particularly ornamental, nursery, or plantation trees

- Timing: the following best practices should be applied during both IPS generations/hatchings, typically the first generation hatches in June and the second in Augut/September

- Watering - It's important to water your trees during times of drought. One option is to drill a few small holes in a large plastic barrel and place it next to the tree. So when you leave the cottage, water in the barrel will slowly drain and water your tree. Obviously this can't be done for every tree, so select this option for your 'special' trees and/or those that are located in areas of shallow soil.

- Confirmed larvae should be killed

- On smaller trees, larvae and unhatched pupal cases can be picked off the tree and destroyed

- On larger tress, use a water hose to knock larvae from branches as it may help curtail defoliation. Remember not to power spray too hard (i.e. don't spray off the bark).

- Tree wrapping can be done to mitigate the likelihood of the caterpillars climbing back up it (after power spraying).  There are commercially available products, such as Tanglefoot or Pest Stick, that can be used and come with instructions.  It's important that these products are not placed directly on the bark.  Typically waterproof paper or tape (4 inches in width) is placed on the trunk and then the product is applied.  It may be necessary to replace the wrap if it becomes full of debris and/or insects.  Remember to remove the product at the end of year.

- Some birds and parasitic wasps are natural enemies

- Fluctuating temperatures or heavy rainfall during egg and larval development can control an infestation

- Experimental 'Pine Bough' Best Management Practice

- This best management practice (BMP) is based on a technique used by Simcoe County to control another sawfly (pine false webworm). Based on advice from MNRF, we are experimenting with this BMP to control the IPS. Click here to download a copy of this BMP.  Please contact David Bywater (GBBR), conservation @ gbbr.ca or 705-774-0978 with your feedback.

Forest Tent Caterpillar(FTC)

Malacosoma

disstria

- often confused with eastern tent caterpillar, however the FTC does not actually make a tent

- Larvae: black, hairy, about 3 mm long

- Mature caterpillars: black and blue, about 50 mm long, have "key hole" markings on their backs

- Adult: stout-bodied, beige/buff coloured, wingspans 20 45mm, two dark, diagonal lines across the forewings

- In the past, outbreaks typically occurred on a 10 year cycle

- Prefers trembling aspen, oak, and sugar maple but will attack shrubs and all broadleaf trees, with the exception of red maple

NOTE: Outbreaks of tent caterpillars are important for insect eating birds including many at-risk warbler species. Please use discretion when attempting to remove populations.

- Prune egg-bands off twigs from August to just before egg hatch in early May

- Tie a metre of burlap around tree trunks at chest height, remove and destroy larvae from under the folds of the burlap daily

- Unfavourable weather in the spring (e.g. late frosts) often reduces the severity of epidemics

- Disease, viruses and fungi often are responsible for large reductions in populations

- The native friendly fly, or government fly, Sarcophaga aldrichi, typically affects FTC populations in year 3 or 4 of an outbreak

- Bacillus thuringiensis (Btk) applied by an arborist to the foliage once the FTC larvae appear in late May is an effective control. Foliage should be 40-50% expanded when Btk is applied.

Fall Webworm

Hyphantria cunea

- In the tiger moth family

- Description is for northern species version

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- Larvae: head usually black, cream-coloured body with rows of black or orange bumps with groups of stiff, white hairs extending out of them, some hairs quite long

- Adult: a pure white moth, emerge in mid-June, orange markings on the body and legs, wings have some black spots and an expanse of 30 mm

- The tent covers the ends of branches of hardwood trees like a shroud

- Often seen starting in August in the Georgian Bay area

- Fall webworm has many hosts but is most common on birch, black walnut, ash, cherry and apple

Although fall webworm is not aesthetically pleasing, and the infested trees look to be in poor health, it is highly unlikely that healthy trees are killed. High populations do not generally persist for more than 2 or 3 years. Natural control factors, including a host of parasites and predators will help to control these outbreaks

Hemlock LooperLambdina fiscellaria

fiscellaria Guenee

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- Larvae: dark, mottled, gray when young, various colours varying from yellow to black when mature, full grown 30 mm long

- Adult: a poor flyer, will stay on lower 3m of trees, tan-greyish in colour

- mid-July defoliation of new and old foliage will be evident in the crown

- Silk webbing will be abundant in the defoliated stands

- In 2002, it was found on several ‚ islands in the archipelago

- Defoliation was found on Shawanaga Is., in Johnny Bay area, in Five Mile Narrows area, in Menominee Channel area, in Kapikog Lake area, and Woods Bay area

- Present in the Lake Muskoka and Lake Joseph area

- Present at low levels at the following TOA in-land lakes: Blackstone, Crane and Healey

- Prefers eastern hemlock and balsam fir but recorded on white pine, white spruce, eastern white cedar and trembling aspen

- Be watchful in case the Muskoka situation signifies a rise in looper populations in Parry Sound District

- Smaller infestations can likely be managed by landowners by using a high pressure water hose to knock the larvae off the trees and kill confirmed larvae

- Spraying of a natural (biological) insecticide known as Btk has been proven to be the most effective at controlling and eradicating hemlock looper infestations. The bacterium used in the spray is naturally occurring, in fact Btk is certified for use in organic farming. It lasts for about four or five days.‚ An arborist would have the specialized equipment to spray with Btk if the pest population is high, or occurs in the crowns of tall trees.

- There are two fungi that appear to be the primary natural cause of decline:

Entomophthora sphaerosperma and E. egressa

- Parasites and birds may contribute to population reduction

Pine Shoot Beetle

Tomicus piniperda Linnaeus

- Adult: 3-5 mm long, black or dark brown in colour, cylindrical in shape

- Tree evidence includes 2 mm bore holes in the trunk and stem, resin encrusted bore holes, and shoots that have been bored out

- Pine shoot beetle and pine cone beetle have affected white pine and red pine for several years along Georgian Bay

- Watering - It's important to water your trees during times of drought. One option is to drill a few small holes in a large plastic barrel and place it next to the tree.  So when you leave the cottage, water in the barrel will slowly drain and water your tree.  Obviously this can't be done for every tree, so select this option for your 'special' trees and/or those that are located in areas of shallow soil.

- Known infected counties are under a quarantine restricting the movement of pine lumber, Christmas trees and nursery stock

- Potential brood material must be removed from known infestations

Red Pine Cone Beetle

Conophthorus resinosae Hopkins

- The adult beetles are black, cylindrical and about 3mm long

- They enter the second-year cones at the base, boring into the cone centre. They lay their eggs there from May to the middle of July. The white larvae with a yellow head feed on seed and scales and when fully grown pupate in the cone. The new adults emerge in late July and bore into small shoots and tunnel towards the bud. During late August to September, these mined shoots (containing the beetle) break off, fall to the ground where the beetle overwinters in these tips (when pulled apart, the adult beetle can be seen)

- Damage from the red pine cone beetle often goes unnoticed. However, it is often seen throughout the Archipelago wherever red pine trees are found.

- Watering - It's important to water your trees during times of drought. One option is to drill a few small holes in a large plastic barrel and place it next to the tree.  So when you leave the cottage, water in the barrel will slowly drain and water your tree.  Obviously this can't be done for every tree, so select this option for your 'special' trees and/or those that are located in areas of shallow soil.

- Collect the €˜mined€™ shoots scattered on the forest floor and burn them


Common Forest Pests Potentially in the Archipelago

The following pests could be present, or may arrive shortly, within the Parry Sound-Muskoka area based on advice and monitoring of forestry experts.

Pest Summary

Identification

Distribution

Best Practices & Controls

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire

- a small, shiny emerald coloured beetle

- Adult: beetle is shiny emerald or coppery green-coloured, narrow bodied (max. 3 mm x 8 mm) large eyes bronze or black, and kidney-shaped

- Wide variety of signs on ash trees including defoliation, bark deformity, markings under bark, yellow foliage, dead branches and abundant seed production

- D shaped exit holes in tree bark

- The nearest confirmed infestation to Parry Sound is Washago

- The EAB continues to spread out of southern Ontario by natural means and through movement of ash products such as firewood, nursery stock, and logs

- If you think you have found EAB, record the location and record the signs and symptoms. If possible, collect an adult specimen, keep it in a container in a freezer (to kill and preserve it), and contact the MNR

- If you plan to move ash firewood, nursery stock or logs, inspect them for signs of emerald ash borer and other pests

- Read about insecticide options here

Oak Wilt

- an aggressive disease which attacks primarily red, but also white oak

- Rapid leaf discolouration, loss and wilting over the summer

- Leaves wilt from the crown downward

- Leaves take on a bronze colour

- It is anticipated that it is just a matter of time before oak wilt arrives in Ontario, as it is presently in the state of Michigan

- Once an oak wilt infection is confirmed, there is no treatment to save individual trees but there are treatments to save surrounding oaks and stop the spread

- DO NOT prune oaks during growing season

- If you need to prune oaks, DO NOT prune them between April 15 and July 15

- DO NOT purchase or source firewood from other districts

- For confirmed cases, trenching an area around the infected tree can help reduce the spread to other oaks through the roots

- Tree removal for confirmed cases will help stop the spread from vectors such as insects

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA)

- an aphid-like insect

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- Presence of white cottony masses on twigs and at the base of the hemlock needles is strong evidence of an infestation

- The insect and eggs are difficult to see as they are protected with their mass of fluffy white secretion

HWA has been found in two locations in Ontario to date:

- first was in Etobicoke in 2012.  An arborist found it when working on a residential property.  Trees were removed.  This infestation likely arrived via infested nursery stock.  CFIA attempts to trace back to nursery did not yield any further detection.

- second find was in Niagara Gorge -- natural area, large hemlocks, on slope.   Monitoring is ongoing, however it is difficult due to terrain/tree size.

HWA has also been found in Nova Scotia (Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne counties) in the summer of 2017

- Look for masses of white wool, which the insects create on the twigs of hemlock trees

- Putting bird feeders in or near hemlock trees is NOT recommended

- Hemlock nursery stock should be closely inspected for white wool on the twigs

- Native lacewing and predatory fly larvae feed on HWA ,they are not effective control

- Populations have shown decline following extreme and extended winters

- Horticultural oil (2 % or lower) or insecticidal soap sprays applied in spring suffocate HWA on accessible trees, applications are costly and impractical for large scale

- Soil drench imidacloprid applications can be available for homeowner use

Asian Long-horned Beetle

(ALHB)

- Adults: 2-4 cm long

- Shiny black with prominent, irregular white spots

- Distinct bluish-white legs

- Long, black and white banded antennae, 1-2x its body length

- Adults leave a round exit hole, approximately 1 cm across in trees

- Under eradication in Mississauga and Toronto after it was re-discovered there in 2013

- Cottagers who reside in the south are reminded that moving firewood, pallets, or other waste wood from southern Ontario to the cottage can transport invasives

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Forest Stewardship Best Management Practices & Resources alt

What you can do:

  1. Know Your Species and Your Property
  • Take the time to get to become more familiar with your property and the types of trees growing on it
  • Understand the current and possible threats to your trees
  • Monitor your property during different seasons
  • You may want to familiarize yourself with relevant legislation and funding opportunities regarding woodlot management (see links provided below)
  • Check out the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve€™s Life on the Bay Guide- contact info@gbbr.ca to book a workshop
  1. Invasive and Pest Species 101
  1. Do not collect or purchase firewood from a different region or district
  2. Plant local species on your property instead of introduced ones (see Grow Me Instead Guide)
  3. Check nursery stock for signs of invasive species and pests before making a purchase
  4. Remove confirmed invasive species using an appropriate control method (see A Landowner€™s Guide to Managing and Controlling Invasive Plants in Ontario)
  • Report invasives species:
  1. EDDMapS Ontario is a fast and easy way to map invasive species without any technical expertise. Users simply take a picture with their mobile device and report from where they are standing.
  2. Download the mobile App for Android and Apple devices. Or visit www.eddmaps.org/ontario to register and report your sighting.
  3. Call the provincial Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711
  1. Develop a Management Plan
  • On your property identify those features or €˜high priority areas€™ that you want to protect or preserve
  • Identify and document overall objectives for your property
  • Develop and implement management activities
  • Click here for more information on the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP)

Links & Resources

Smaller infestations can likely be managed by landowners by using a high pressure water hose to knock the larvae off the trees and kill confirmed larvae.

Spraying of a natural (biological) insecticide known as Btk has been proven to be the most effective at controlling and eradicating hemlock looper infestations. The bacterium used in the spray is naturally occurring, in fact Btk is certified for use in organic farming. It lasts for about four or five days.‚ An arborist would have the specialized equipment to spray with Btk if the pest population is high, or occurs in the crowns of tall trees.