Facebook page tracks tree pests and diseases on P.E.I.
'Additional eyes and ears for us to potentially capture an insect or identify a new introduction'
A Facebook page set up to track outbreaks of tree insects and diseases on Prince Edward island is garnering attention.
The Forests, Fish and Wildlife division of the Department of Communities, Land and Environment has been building the page for a year.
Dave Carmichael, a horticultural technician, told Island Morning the page is a great way to have a two-way conversation with Islanders about tree pests and diseases because Facebook is "a little more user friendly for folks."
The page has a number of photo albums specific to various types of trees and pests, which Carmichael said would help people identify problems they see on their own trees and in public places.
The page also contains useful information about environmental issues, such as wind and salt damage, as well as pruning techniques and how pruning affects pests.
"We have albums specific to our primary tree species that are native to P.E.I., so within each album, spruce for example, there's a whole list of different diseases that affect spruce," he said.
The whole idea of the Facebook page is to allow people, both general public and industry, to submit images "and we can perhaps try to identify the issue in that manner or insect and disease samples can be submitted to our Access PEI sites," he said.
While the page offers tips for dealing with outbreaks of pests in trees, it does not promote specific products, Carmichael said.
"[It's] additional eyes and ears for us to potentially capture an insect or identify a new introduction."
With files from Mitch Cormier and Island Morning