Forest Action Plans: Guidelines for Forests

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Pests and Disease

Invasive Weed Kudzu Can Grow Up to One Foot Per Day

Oh boy, is kudzu invasive.

The weed has been spotted in every county in Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina and is creeping northward into Ohio, Illinois and even jumping Lake Erie to establish a beachhead in Ontario, Canada.

The invasive plant costs property owners in the United States about $50 million per year in eradication, according to the Nature Conservancy.

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Additional Species of Pine Bark Beetle Threatening Washington's Forests

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.

Emerald Ash Borer Wiping Out Kentucky Trees

Five years after the emerald ash borer arrived in Kentucky from the north where it killed more than 25 million trees, the full force of this Asian invader is being felt across the Bluegrass.
 
From Lexington to Louisville and north to Cincinnati, ash trees are being wiped out from rural landscapes, parks, leafy subdivisions and urban corridors.
 

Tree Pittsburgh Uses Goats To Clear Invasives from Dense Hillside

Environmental non-profit Tree Pittsburgh found a creative solution to clearing undergrowth on tricky terrain—goats.
 
Tree Pittsburgh hired consultant Brian Knox from Eco-Goats and rented more than 30 goats from local farm Goodness Grows to clear dense plant growth from a hillside near West Penn Park in Polish Hill. Tree Pittsburgh Tree Care and Restoration Coordinator Jake Milofsky said Tree Pittsburgh wanted to clear the area of invasive species so it could be regrown with more manageable vegetation, but the hill presented several problems.

Scientists Say Even Brutal Winters Aren't Stopping the Emerald Ash Borer

This past winter was the coldest Detroit had experienced in 36 years, but it did little to stop the invasive emerald ash borer.

“We didn’t find a single dead larva,” Deborah G. McCullough, professor of entomology and forestry at Michigan State, told the New York Times.

Asian Longhorned Beetle Harming 7 Billion Board Feet of Ohio's Maple Trees

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has announced its 2014 plans for the state's Asian Longhorned Beetle infestation. The infestation was first discovered in 2012.

Ohio State University Extension Educator Dr. Curtis Young said the Asian Longhorn beetle is a borer and is as even greater concern then the Emerald Ash Borer.

University of Tennessee and Nature Conservancy Release Non-Native Insect and Disease Report

Fading Forests III is a new report released by the University of Tennessee and The Nature Conservancy compiling the latest data and analysis on the introduction, spread, and costs of non-native invasive tree pests and diseases.
 
Among the key findings:
  • In the last dozen years the emerald ash borer has spread from three states to 22; the Asian longhorned beetle has been detected at four additional sites; 28 new tree-killing pest species have been discovered.

Why is Cogongrass So Successful at Invading the South?

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is a perennial grass that’s causing huge problems in the Gulf Coast and other regions of the South where temperatures don’t get cold enough to limit its growth. This weed invades forests, rights-of-way, and agricultural fields, literally taking over the landscape and altering ecosystems. Cogongrass varies widely in appearance, suggesting that there may be wide genetic variability within the species.

As Emerald Ash Borer Chews its Way Through Wisconsin, Residents Seek Uses for Precious Wood

All around Madison, Wisconsin, residents are watching as yellow dots appear on their estimated 21,700 public ash trees, a sign that the invasive emerald ash borer has arrived.

The borer makes trees brittle and dangerous. So even though most of the 8,500 trees slated to get the ax aren't infested yet, over the next few years, they'll have to come down.

What to do with these trees, whether it's mulch, lumber or an artisan-made showpiece table, is something the city is still figuring out. 

Chemical Used to Treat Gout Could Save Florida's $9 Billion Citrus Industry

It turns out the chemical normally used to treat gout in humans is extremely effective in halting the spread of the disease known as citrus greening.
 
The Asian citrus psyllid appeared in Florida in 1998 and carries a bacterium that causes trees to produce bitter, misshapen, inedible fruit. The disease caused by the bacterium has infected as much as 70 percent of Florida's citrus over the past few years.
 

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