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

New pine beetle described by scientists

A newly-discovered species of tree-killing bark beetle, Dendroctonus mesoamericanus Armendáriz-Toledano and Sullivan, has been described in a paper published online in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America by a group of researchers that includes a U.S. Forest Service scientist. 

Partnership Battling Cogongrass in Mississippi

With support from the Forest Health Protection program of the USDA Forest Service, the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) is achieving goals outlined in its Forest Action Plan.

Cogongrass is an invasive, non-native grass, which occurs in the southeastern United States. A pest in 73 countries and considered to be one of the "Top 10 Worst Weeds in the World", cogongrass affects forest productivity, native species survival, wildlife habitat, recreation, native plants, fire behavior, site management costs to name a few.

"Tree of Heaven" Invading Arkansas Counties

An invasive plant called the tree of heaven has spread throughout nearly 50% of Arkansas’ counties. 

One tree can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds per year. Tree of heaven provides almost no food or shelter value for wildlife, and it also has allelopathic properties, chemically preventing other species from growing around it.

Southern Pine Beetle Found in Connecticut

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced yesterday that the Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) was detected in Wallingford, CT on March 17, 2015 by staff members at CAES and DEEP. The identification has been confirmed by officials of the USDA Forest Service.

Ponderosa Pines Face Unknown Disease in Idaho

Officials with the Idaho Department of Lands are asking people not to cut down ponderosa pines with discolored needles until experts determine the cause of the problem - perhaps in late June when the trees start growing new needles.

"It's kind of puzzling," said Tom Eckberg, an IDL forest health specialist. "It has no rhyme or reason and doesn't fit the pattern of typical diseases."

The brownish-red color hasn't been found on ponderosas growing at higher elevations around the region and is limited to lower elevations so far.

Minnesota Prepares for Emerald Ash Borer

Researchers from the U.S. Forest Service are trying to find ways to save northern Minnesota from the emerald ash borer, a tiny pest with a voracious appetite.

Since it was discovered in Michigan nearly 20 years ago, the emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees across the Midwest and Canada.

Nebraska State Forester Prepares for Battle against Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer will create a slow-motion disaster for Nebraska, says Scott Josiah, general of an army of foresters bracing themselves for the fight. "We believe it's already in Nebraska," he said. "We just haven't found it yet."

Josiah, the State Forester and director of the Nebraska Forest Service, is asking members of the Legislature to set aside $3 million a year, not to beat the beetle — "We're not going to stop it," he says — but to help cities slow its march of death across the state.

"This insect will wipe out ash trees in North America," he said last week.

Fungus Threatens North America's Black Cottonwoods

Native black cottonwood trees in North America including in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada are at serious risk of catching a killer, non­native fungus unless researchers can figure out how to stop it, B.C. forest scientists say.

Black cottonwoods are found along B.C.'s coast and are an integral part of the ecosystem as they improve water quality, provide wildlife habitat and prevent erosion, Richard Hamelin, UBC professor and research analyst with Natural Resources Canada, said.

Good News for Eradicating Cogongrass

Over the past decade, USDA Forest Service researchers have been working with university cooperators to find some way to slow down or stop the relentless spread of cogongrass. This last fall, Auburn University researchers reported results that demonstrate, for the first time, that patches of cogongrass can be eliminated completely within three years—showing that eradication of the invasive plant is actually possible for many land managers.

Light at the End of the Tunnel for Emerald Ash Borer?

Reflecting upon the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) situation in Illinois, 2014 was definitely a disheartening year. Sixteen new counties were confirmed positive in this year alone, seven of which were outside the established quarantine. Compare this figure to a total of 34 from when it was first detected in 2006, up to the end of 2013, and we had about a 50 percent increase in confirmed communities.

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