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

Foliage Disease Affecting Trees In Oak Creek Canyon

Cooler spring weather throughout parts of Arizona has caused Sycamore trees in Sunflower and the Oak Creek Canyon area to become infected with a foliage disease. 

According to the Arizona State Forestry Division, Sycamore Anthracnose is more unsightly than damaging. 

This isn’t the first time trees in those areas have become infected. In the 1980s, 90s and the mid-2000s, Sycamore trees became infected with the foliage disease, which looks more like frost damage. The disease causes trees to become discolored and it can cause twig mortality. 

Scientists Treat Rare Chestnut Trees for Blight

Scientists gave a forest in West Salem, Wisconsin, famous for its chestnuts, an annual checkup of sorts earlier this month, and the numbers alone wouldn’t tell the whole story.

About 15 scientists and students from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Michigan State University and West Virginia University swatted bugs, swabbed trees and collected samples on a hilly, 90-acre tract spread across land owned by a pair of local farm families and rented for research by the American Chestnut Foundation.

Oak Wilt Threatens Michigan Trees

Oak wilt, the same fungus responsible for Dutch elm disease, kills by blocking the tree's vascular system, tubing used to collect food and water, said Bob Heyd, a forest health specialist from the Department of Natural Resources in Marquette. There are two ways oak wilt can spread: through spores entering a susceptible oak's open wounds, and underground, through grafted roots.

Boulder County Foothills See Defoliation Tied to Moth Infestation

The Colorado State Forest Service reports that Douglas firs on roughly 2,500 acres in the foothills are currently experiencing defoliation caused by the Douglas-fir tussock moth. Experts say damage by the pest can result in a high degree of mortality in severely affected trees.

"The fact that we're actually seeing defoliation on trees in a large area tells me it's as severe as it does get with this insect," said Ben Pfohl, assistant district forester with the CSFS Boulder District.

US Forest Service Grant for Kentucky, Tennessee in Battle Against Hemlock Killer

The U.S. Forest Service has approved a grant sought by Kentucky and Tennessee in their effort to protect hemlock trees threatened by an invasive pest, officials from both states said. The hemlock woolly adelgid, an Asian insect that was first found in Virginia in the 1950s, has sickened and killed hemlocks in at least 68 counties in eastern parts of both states.

NASF APHIS letter 4/24/15

April 24, 2015

Dear Mr. El-Lissy,

On behalf of all of the State Foresters in the United States, I want to thank Agency Administrator Kevin Shea, you, and the APHIS leadership team for hosting the meeting with me and other members of the forest sector on March 25. It was a most productive discussion of our shared interests in protecting the health of the nation’s forests.

Jumping Oak Gall Causing Leaf Damage to White Oak Trees in Arkansas

Leaf damage has been confirmed in clusters of white oak trees in north and central Arkansas areas due to Jumping Oak Gall, or small plant growths caused by tiny, stingless wasps. In most cases galls do not cause permanent damage or tree mortality. The largest infestations have been confirmed in Crawford, Franklin, Pope and Van Buren Counties, though may also be present throughout north and central Arkansas counties and the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests.

Bug Infested Forests Raise Fire Danger in Washington

From the crest of the Cascade Mountains running east to the sagebrush and desert country along the Columbia River, a map shows years of damage from the Western Spruce Budworm, which is killing trees by the thousands. Moths living in one tree will lay eggs on the tree next to it. And when the caterpillars come out, the damage begins.

Hikers Spreading Fungus That Is Killing Ohio Bats

Ohio’s bat population has been decimated in recent years by a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome. It appeared in Ohio in 2011 and has now been confirmed in 19 counties.

Jennifer Norris, the state’s bat biologist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, believes that it’s probably much more widespread. “I’m guessing it’s across the state,” she said.

Honeysuckle is Destabilizing the Environment in Missouri

According to conservationists in Kansas and Missouri, Asian Bush Honeysuckle is the most visible and environmentally destabilizing invasive species in the metro area.

Larry Rizzo, a natural history biologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation, says that there is a difference between invasive and exotic species, and the two are not necessarily exclusive. 

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