Pests and Disease

Invasive Pest and Disease Confirmed in Arkansas

Redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB), a small dark brown-to-black, cylinder-shaped invasive beetle, and Laurel wilt disease (LWD), a fungus that blocks movement of water and nutrients within a tree, have been discovered in Arkansas sassafras trees.

Spruce beetles moving into more Colorado forests

The devastation caused by spruce beetles across Colorado forests accelerated for a fourth consecutive year, according to a new survey, while the once widespread infestation of mountain pine beetles has largely subsided.

The spruce beetle was found to have newly infected 182,000 acres of previously unaffected forests, bringing the number of acres currently impacted to 409,000 across the state, according to the annual aerial survey conducted by the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado State Forest Service.

Researchers, foodies give American chestnut a second chance

Long rows of tightly planted American chestnut trees line a field here near the Minnesota-Iowa border. But these aren't your great-grandfather's chestnuts.

Those 80-foot giants with massive trunks — the kind that led Longfellow to write, "Under a spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands" — were largely wiped out by an invasive fungus in the early 1900s, nearly eradicating the trees once known as the Redwoods of the East.

Volunteers plant potentially blight-resistant hybrid chestnut trees in Brooklyn

Over the last two years, volunteers with the Prospect Park Alliance have been planting a blight-resistent hybrid chesnut called B3F3s in the park. With any luck, they will cross-breed with a generation of pure American Chestnuts that the Alliance planted back in 2004, and which, for the first time last year, produced fertile Brooklyn-born nuts.

"The seeds from that will be even more blight resistant," volunteer Bart Chezar explained. "And those will be kind of the feed stock for the future American chestnut forests of Brooklyn."

ODNR Helping Restore American Chestnuts

 The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently planted American chestnut trees at three sites on department-managed lands. The Gorge Overlook area at Mohican State Park, the Scioto Trail State Forest fire tower and the Waterloo Wildlife Area were selected for a reforestation project that is part of a state and regional effort to re-establish the native American chestnut trees in partnership with The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF).

Beetle released to save Kentucky's hemlocks

Officials say predatory beetles have been released into the Daniel Boone National Forest in an effort to save its hemlock trees.

The beetles are natural predators for the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect that has devastated hemlock forests throughout the eastern U.S.

Kentucky Division of Forestry Director and State Forester Leah MacSwords says the beetles eat only adelgids and will help control "one of the biggest insect threats to Kentucky's forests." The state has more than 83 million eastern hemlock trees.

Trees in Trouble: Saving America's Urban Forests

It seemed to happen almost overnight. Thousands of trees started dying unexpectedly in SW Ohio. Cincinnati almost went broke trying to keep the invasion from damaging property—or worse.

The killer was a tiny insect known as the emerald ash borer, a new invasive insect from Asia that will wipe out every ash tree in America...unless we do something about it. First found near Detroit in 2002, emerald ash borers have now infested trees in 35 states, from New Hampshire to South Carolina and as far west as Colorado.

Maine readies for spruce budworm

The Maine Forest Service and partners are preparing for the inevitable return of the spruce budworm, and trying to ensure that Maine is more prepared than it was a few decades ago when the budworm population last exploded. Landowners have the option of changing harvest plans and applying pesticide, and industry insiders are considering all available options as they make plans for the future.

But when will the budworm get to Maine?

Patterns of Invasive Species: Clues to Stop the Spread

Scientists are still trying to understand what drives the relentless spread of invasive species in the United States.

Invasions are often assessed by measuring species richness, or the number of non-native species known to grow in a certain area. However, other measurements of plant invasions could offer more insights.

“We can make stronger inferences about invasions when we account for multiple invasion measures, as well as the diversity of ecosystems across large geographic areas,” says U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientist Christopher Oswalt.

The Fall of Iowa's Ash Tree

Experts estimate the emerald ash borer is at least three years into its assault on central Iowa and that casualties are coming soon.

“The borer will start working from the top of the tree down,” says Paul Tauke, the Forestry Bureau Chief for the Iowa DNR, pointing to the leafless tips of a green ash growing near the State Capitol.

The effect on our landscape could pale in comparison to that on our city budgets. In public spaces alone, there are 26-million ash trees in Iowa.