Pests and Disease

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.

Governor Brown Declares State of Emergency Because of Number of Dead Trees

Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for California's forests, where an estimated 22 million trees have already died. Cal Fire's chief says this means continuing work that has already happened.

What is killing them is a one-two punch--the drought plus bark beetles. While there is a huge number of dead or dying trees creating even more of a worry about fires, Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott says:

Forest Officials Preparing for Spruce Budworm

Maine foresters are preparing for next spring's expected infestation of spruce budworm, an insect that feeds on spruce and fir that has been known to overun forest stands.

Maine's last periodic outbreak occurred in 1970 and ended in 1985. Maine Forest Service Director Doug Denico says efforts are underway to protect the trees on the state's public lands.

Nebraska’s trees under assault from various threats

Nebraska’s Pine Ridge is down to its last big stands of ponderosa pine. Most of the state’s elms are gone, the cottonwood is in decline and the ash, beloved for its brilliant autumnal yellow, will disappear soon.

Trees are under assault through the combined effects of climate change, invasive species and changes in land use, state forester Scott Josiah said. Many of the trees being lost are native to Nebraska, while others are exotic species planted as the result of settlement.

Battling Invasive Cogongrass in Mississippi

Cogongrass was introduced to Mississippi 100 years ago as a new forage crop, but it is now an invasive weed landowners and managers are trying to destroy.

John Byrd, weed scientist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said it was thought that this perennial grass had potential to benefit rural families.

Bacterial leaf scorch affecting Georgia's oaks

Researchers in Georgia are beginning to see more oak trees failing from bacterial leaf scorch.

This disease is relatively new in shade trees, particularly oaks in Georgia. Unfortunately, it is becoming more widespread. It can affect shade trees, such as elms, hackberry, ginkgo, oak, sycamore, maple and sweetgum, but I have seen it mostly on oaks. It can also affect food crops such as pecans, peaches and blueberries.

2015 Resolutions

The following resolutions were approved on September 15, 2015 at the Annual Meeting in Olympic Valley, California.

Resolution 2015-01—Tax Reform. This resolution adopts the policy statement, “Tax Policy and its Relationship to Managing and Protecting the Nation’s Forest Resource.”            

Policy Statement 2015-01—Tax Reform. This policy statement was adopted by resolution 2015-01.

2015 NASF Annual Report

The 2015 NASF Annual report highlights the theme Adapting to Change, which is as relevant in the natural world as it is in the worlds of agencies and associations. Like forests, the policy, communications and partnership environments in which NASF operates are dynamic ecosystems. Issues and the people behind them are constantly changing.

Maine steps up emerald ash borer monitoring

An invasive pest is on Maine’s doorstep and forest health experts are stepping up efforts to detect the destructive bug as soon as it crosses the border.

Last month, Belknap County became the latest county in New Hampshire to begin restricting the movement of firewood and other wood products. The quarantines are aimed at slowing the spread of the emerald ash borer, a small green beetle that has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the U.S.