Forest Science and Health

The Healthy Thinning of Connecticut Forests

Walk a few hundred yards into the woods in Durham, Connecticut, and you'll see something that looks like it's out of "Mad Max" -- large trucks, with big wheels, and giant robotic arms, grabbing trees and slicing them down. But this controlled chaos is a calculated timber harvest, with the long-term goal of creating a more resilient forest.

"People generally don't appreciate the way it looks right now," said Lindsay Suhr, with the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association. "In a few years it will look very different, so they might have a different appreciation."

NASF Releases 2016 Annual Report

The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) unveiled the 2015-16 NASF annual report today at its meeting in Savannah, Georgia.

From city streets to remote mountainsides, trees connect a forested ecosystem that connects with people in countless ways. This is the essence of NASF's work, and the association is pleased to share recent accomplishments through this publication.

State and Private Forestry Report Highlights Accomplishments and Emerging Trends in Forestry

Analysis of Forest Action Plan Five-Year Reviews Illustrates Impacts of Strong Partnerships and Effective Strategic Planning

WASHINGTON (September 7, 2016)—The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) has released the 2016 State and Private Forestry Report which includes success stories and an overview of emerging issues and trends that were recently identified by the state forestry agencies.

California’s Dead Trees Stand Ready to Burn

Like tens of millions of matchsticks, California’s dead trees stand ready to burn. Between severe droughts, a plethora of invasive species, and other problems, trees are at high risk with low defenses. As more trees die, they add fuel to an already growing flame. 

Gov. Jerry Brown of California issued emergency declarations for the Sierra’s central and southern regions last October. Mr. Brown also called for a task force to devise strategies to clear the forests of deadwood. He also sought additional federal funds.

Learn about Emerald Ash Borer in Pennsylvania

Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania ash trees have succumbed to emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation, estimates Tim Tomon of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry’s Division of Forest Health. The number of dead ash trees reaches the millions if one considers states like Michigan, where EAB was first discovered in 2002.

Swiss needle cast spreading in Oregon

Douglas firs in the Oregon Coast Range are increasingly suffering from Swiss needle cast. One study estimates that the fungal disease stunts tree growth by about 50 percent, resulting in an annual economic loss of $128 million.

Swiss needle cast is a foliage disease whose symptoms include yellow needles, decreased needle retention, sparse crowns, and reduced diameter and height growth. A fungus infects the firs and disperses spores which plug the needle openings that carry water into and out of the tree.