Forest Action Plans: Guidelines for Forests

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Pests and Disease

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.

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.

Indiana Plants Trees to Replace Those Lost to Emerald Ash Borer

The Indiana State University campus is a little shadier these days thanks to the recent planting of dozens of trees.

Ranging from 25-foot tall Siena Glen maple and American elms to smaller Canada chokecherry and tulip trees, about 45 trees were transplanted from university-owned tree farms to replace some of the more than 100 ash trees that have succumbed to the emerald ash borer in recent years.

Emergency Quarantine Eyed to Save Hawaii’s Ohia Trees

A quarantine to prohibit the movement of ohia trees, the soil surrounding them and ohia products from the Big Island is is likely to be approved this month in an attempt to stop the spread of a fungus that has the potential to kill the native trees throughout the islands.

Day by day the disease spreads, killing off hundreds of mature ohia trees on more than 15,000 acres in the forests and residential areas of Puna and Hilo, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

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.

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