Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District and Maine Forest Service invite the public to a series of intensive workshops on terrestrial invasive plant management, beginning with an evening workshop Wednesday, May 23.

The series is geared toward conservation and land management professionals and those with a strong interest in managing invasive plants in Maine. Continuing education credits are available for pesticide applicators.

The May 23 workshop, Control Methods for Terrestrial Invasive Plants, will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast.

Invasive plants are a common threat to woodlands and other plant communities in the Midcoast. Identifying and controlling invasives as soon as possible after establishment is ideal, though not always possible.

A variety of tools are used to control invasives. Mechanical methods may sometimes be successful, while herbicides are often also an important tool in the plant manager’s toolbox. This workshop will address how to identify common invasives, and where various control methods — mechanical or chemical — can be applied.

Because herbicides can be very effective, but are sometimes misapplied, the workshop will put particular emphasis on knowing what herbicides to use, when to use them, and how to prepare and apply herbicides correctly. Health and ecological risks, ways to mitigate risk, as well as rules and regulations regarding the use of herbicides will be discussed.

Aleta McKeage is a conservation biologist with extensive practical experience, as well as technical director for the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District. Amanda Devine is Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s regional stewardship manager for Southern and Midcoast Maine, where she has primary responsibility for managing vegetation on conserved lands. Megan Patterson is the Pesticide Program manager for the Board of Pesticides Control. Together these presenters have years of expertise in managing invasive species and restoring plant communities throughout Maine and the northeast.

The program will be geared toward land managers, arborists, foresters, and interested landowners. It is presented through a cooperative effort of Waldo County Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Board of Pesticide Control, and Maine Forest Service.

Invasive plant species are the focus of additional events this spring/early summer, to give people both field and indoor opportunities to learn about this critical vegetation management issue. Participants are encouraged to attend this session, as well additional events:

· Thursday, May 17, 3 p.m., Woodland Stewardship field tour, Deerfoot Farm, Appleton (including multiple woodland management projects, among them invasive species control, with Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District).

· Wednesday, June 6, 6:30 p.m., Invasive Species presentation by Aleta McKeage, Belfast Adult Education, Belfast High School.

· Thursday, June 28, 3 p.m., Woodland Stewardship field tour on field identification of invasive plants, Belfast.

For more information, contact Morten Moesswilde, district forester for Maine Forest Service, morten.moesswilde@maine.gov or 441-2895. No registration is required for any of these free events. Credits toward pesticide applicator licensure will be available.