Forest Action Plans: Guidelines for Forests

Forest action plans provide an analysis of forest conditions and trends in your area.

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Pests and Disease

Mountain Pine Beetle "Ate Themselves Out of House and Home"

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.

Fiscal Year 2013-2014 National Association of State Foresters Annual Report

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.         

New York pool owners monitoring for invasive Asian long-horned beetles

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.

Emerald Ash Borer Threatening Virginia's Forests

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.

Thousand Cankers Disease is Threatening Pennsylvania's Black Walnut Trees

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."
 

Invasive Feral Hogs Take Over Parts of Ohio

Invasive feral swine are chomping their way through the southeastern corner of Ohio.

"They're highly adaptable and very destructive," said Marne Titchenell, wildlife specialist with Ohio State University.

Feral swine can eat and trample crops, root up forests, outcompete native wildlife for food, and spread 30 diseases and 37 parasites. Yikes.

Feral swine cost the United States $1.5 billion a year in damage and control costs, according to a Ohio State University Extension fact sheet.

More than 441,000 Pine Beetle-Infested Trees Removed in South Dakota

More than 441,000 trees infested by mountain pine beetle have been cut down since South Dakota launched its Black Hills Forest Initiative three years ago.
 
"The governor's goal was to remove all beetle-infested trees in Custer State Park, and those efforts have paid off," State Forester Greg Josten told the Associated Press.
 

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.
 

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