The mountain pine beetle epidemic has been plaguing Colorado's pine forests for nearly two decades.
While the beetle is natural part of the eco-system, it began to spiral out of control in 1996. Scientists said that's when warmer temperatures and increasing drought conditions began to stress the trees, making them more susceptible to a beetle invasion. Then, the beetles went to lunch.
"People started seeing the effect of these mountain pine beetles on forests: needles that are dying, trees that are on their way to dying," said Chris Strebig of the U.S. Forest Service.
The National Association of State Foresters’ (NASF) FY 2013-2014 annual report is more than just an update on association accomplishments. It is a testament to what engaged State Foresters, hard-working staff, and supportive partners did to help keep America’s working forests working. Our work has real impact far beyond the beltway.
Swimming pool owners can help scientists track the spread of invasive Asian long-horned beetles by checking their filters. The Department of Environmental Conservation invited pool owners to participate in its third annual Asian long-horned beetle survey, which is wrapping up today.
The beetles have killed hundreds of thousands of trees across the country. Particularly hard hit are maple trees in New York City, on Long Island, in New Jersey, in Chicago, in Worcester, Massachusetts and Clermont, Ohio.
Virginia’s ash tree population coule be decimated in the next decade by the emerald ash borer (EAB).
EAB was first found in Virginia in 2003 in Fairfax County. The beetle, native to Asia, spread swiftly from Michigan along the interstate, carried in packing materials and firewood. The bug also spreads on its own, along rivers where ash trees are abundant.
Pennsylvania foresters are battling thousand cankers disease, which poses a threat to the state's $19 billion hardwoods industry.
"It absolutely has the potential to be disastrous," said Chris Miller, an arborist with the Davey Tree Expert company. "The long-term impact could be, eventually, no more black walnut. There are very few diseases that seem to affect them, so this is really a game-changer."
If you're a landowner with pines in Washington state, there is now an additional species of pine bark beetle that may pose significant concern to your trees.
The California Fivespined Ips is a new pest on the scene and is showing up in the wildland-urban interface [PDF] of southern Washington state. The beetle favors the green, freshly broken branches of many species of pine including ponderosa, sugar, western white and lodgepole.
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