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Farmington celebrates 45th year as Tree City USA

4 mins read
The Emerald Ash Borer

FARMINGTON – This week Farmington will celebrate Arbor Week and its status as Tree City USA. The Farmington Conservation Commission is hosting an event on Tuesday, May 17 at 5 p.m., at the North Church.

Every year, the FCC holds an Arbor Week event due to the town’s status as Tree City USA. This means that Farmington has achieved a set of standards relating to tree care, distinguishing the town as one with plenty of tree cover and clean air. This program is organized by the Arbor Day Foundation and is overseen in Maine by the Maine Forest Service. Farmington has earned this title by having a tree care ordinance, a committee to oversee tree care, a certain number of work hours, and an Arbor Week celebration each year. Farmington has been designated Tree City USA for 45 years — only one of three towns with this many consecutive years. The town will receive this designation on Monday and their celebration will be the following day.

This year, the FCC’s event will center around invasive species. Their goal is to educate the public on the impacts these species have on the local flora and fauna.

“Invasive insects and plants can cause extensive damage to native plant communities so we want people to think about ways to treat them so we can avoid that damage,” Bill Haslam, the Chairman of the FCC and a forester at American Forest Management said.

Last year, the FCC received a grant to start an invasive species management plan for the town of Farmington. The plan is focused on the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer, a well-known invasive insect, on the ash trees of the town. It includes how to treat and replace the affected ash trees and the environmental impact of the loss of shade and water retention in downtown Farmington. The plan also talks about the effects of brown tail moths and invasive species in general on the area.

This year’s Arbor Week event will utilize this plan as an education tool. The event will feature four speakers from the community. The first will be Hunter Manley of Legacy Forest Management. Manley, who put together the majority of the plan, will introduce it and share his extensive experience treating invasive species. Mike Parisio, the second speaker, is an entomologist from Maine Forest Service. He will give an overview of the major forest pests plaguing Maine right now. Next, Jack Clark will talk about how he uses his business, Grazing Glory Goats, to treat invasive plants like bittersweet and buckthorn in a natural way. The final speaker will be Bob Carlton, a forester from Freeman Ridge Forestry. Carlton treats both invasive plants and insects and will share his experiences.

In various ways, these speakers will share tips on how to identify and properly deal with the invasive species that threaten Farmington’s ecosystems.

“There are a lot of invasive species already here and causing problems with native plant communities,” Haslam said. “We want people to come learn about invasive species and their treatment.”

The FCC welcomes the public to their event on Tuesday at 5 p.m.mThere will be refreshments provided.

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