Public Meeting to Discuss Gypsy Moths and Other Tree Pests

September 27, 2007
Darren Marsh (608) 224-3766 Lisa Johnson (608) 224-3715
Land & Water Resources

Public meeting to discuss Gypsy Moths and other Tree pests Financial help available for communities with high infestations How to save your trees from the highly destructive Gypsy Moth and other invasive pests will be the subject of an October 4 public informational meeting when officials will detail an ongoing financial assistance program for communities battling massive moth concentrations. Homeowners, woodland owners, arborists, property managers and local government officials are encouraged to attend the Thursday meeting at the Lussier Family Heritage Center in Lake Farm County Park at 3101 Lake Farm Road in Madison. The two-hour meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Dane County Parks Director Darren Marsh said records show the Gypsy Moth population is on the rise countywide. “Warm, dry weather conditions fuel the moth population,” Marsh said. “The general public is becoming more aware of this pest – especially if they’ve witnessed the caterpillar’s destructive powers. “Gypsy moths are very destructive in the caterpillar stage,” Marsh said. “In high numbers, the pest can defoliate trees.” Local communities battling high concentrations of Gypsy Moths may be eligible for financial assistance through the Department of Natural Resources’ Gypsy Moth Suppression Program. Communities may receive up to 50 percent cost-share funding for eligible costs. Dane County will accept program applications from local governments through November 14. “The decision whether to participate in the suppression program is made at the local level,” Marsh said. “To be considered for a treatment spray block, the infestation must at least 20 acres.” In 2007, 538 acres were treated in Dane County, including sites in the cities of Madison and Sun Prairie and Lake Kegonsa State Park. Other pests posing threats to Dane County trees and woodlands include the Emerald Ash Borer, which is getting established in Illinois. “This pest will likely become an ash tree health concern in Wisconsin,” Marsh said. “Early detection and the reporting of possible infestations may delay the ash borer from taking hold in Wisconsin.” Another pest that will be discussed at the October 4 meeting will be the Japanese Beetle. “The public will learn about biology, identification, current research on management alternatives and more at the October 4 meeting. It will be two hours well spent,” Marsh said. Sponsors of the October 4 public information meeting include the Dane County Tree Board, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Dane County Parks and the University of Wisconsin-Extension. Speakers at the October meeting will include Mark Guthmiller of the DNR Gypsy Moth Suppression Program, UW-Madison Extension Entomologist Chris Williamson, Adrian Barta with WI Dept. of Agriculture and Marsh, who also serves as the Dane County Gypsy Moth Coordinator. The coordinators of the meeting are Marla Eddy of the Dane County Tree Board and City of Madison Forester and Lisa Johnson, UW-Extension Horticulture Educator. For directions to the meeting site, visit: www.countyofdane.com/lwrd/parks/heritage/location.aspx. # # #