Summer on a Shoestring

Rating Beech Bark Disease
August 4, 2017, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Coming into the summer, I was assigned the task of rating the severity of Beech Bark Disease in all of the MELNHE stands. Beech Bark Disease is characterized by scale insects and followed by a fungal agent that eventually weakens the tree. Since I had no experience with the disease before, Dan and I were paired up for the project.


Cankers from Fungus

We used a rating system developed by some of the leading professionals on the disease. Each one of the trees we rated was categorized into a three-part system. The trees were rated based on scale infestation, fungal infection, and canopy health. At the end of the project, Dan and I had rated over 1000 mature beech trees. We were also able to rate over 1000 beech saplings within all of our stands


Scale Insect Colonies

The coolest part of the project was that I was able to have results by the time of the Annual Hubbard Brook meeting. After looking through my data, I noticed that I had significant results in terms of stand age. There was also some significance between our treatment plots, which is a big deal for the MELNHE project. At the conference, I was able to give a five-minute presentation to a room filled with over 100 scientists to explain my project and show my findings.IMG_2764

Being a shoe stringer was one of the most valuable experience that I have ever encountered. It exposed me to a variety of different projects and helped me with improving my understanding of forest ecology. Bartlett New Hampshire is totally awesome!




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