Pests and Disease

NASF and MD Forest Service Lead Tour for Congressional Staff

By Greg Pilchak

On Wednesday August 10th, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service hosted an NASF State and Private Forestry program tour for key congressional staff.

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Philadelphia

Following years of anxiety and suspicion of a potential emerald ash borer infestation, Philadelphia now has official physical evidence of EAB’s arrival. In late June, pheromone traps throughout the city attracted and caught several insects.

Emerald Ash Borer May Soon Strike Out Baseball's Ash Bats

There's a voracious little bug destroying forests across the eastern U.S. Scientists say emerald ash borers, exotic beetles imported accidentally from Asia, have killed as many as 50 million trees.

They're now threatening groves in New York's Adirondack Mountains that are used to make an iconic kind of baseball bat.

Oak Wilt Discovered on Long Island, NY

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Agriculture and Markets announced this week that oak wilt has been detected on Long Island. This is only the second confirmed infestation in New York, the first being reported in Schenectady County in 2008 and 2013. Oak wilt, a disease which kills thousands of oak trees in the eastern United States each year, is caused by a fungus that grows in the water conducting vessels of oak trees, preventing water transport and eventually killing its host.

USDA calls for citizen cooperation in gypsy moth prevention

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is requesting citizens that inspect their outdoor household items for gypsy moths before moving to a new area. The requirement to check lawn furniture, yard equipment, and outdoor toys is part of a larger effort to stop the spread of gypsy moths.

Colorado Battling Tussock Moth

In Colorado, black-tusked tussock moths have spread across 25,000 acres in the last year from the 2014 infested area of 1,000 acres. The moth’s caterpillars are rapidly defoliating fir trees along Colorado’s Front Range, raising concerns for wildfire, recreation and tourism, and water supplies. Defoliated trees pose elevated wildfire risks and invite other pests, such as mountain pine beetles and western spruce budworm.

USDA Surveying for Asian Gypsy Moths in South Carolina

The USDA has reported a discovery of the invasive Asian gypsy moth (AGM) in each of the last two summers in South Carolina. The USDA policy is to conduct three years of surveys following each discovery. These surveys entail setting hundreds of triangular, cardboard traps, which contain a slow-release pheromone that attracts the moths.

Record 66 Million Trees Dead in Southern Sierra Nevada

The U.S. Forest Service announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to historic levels of tree die-off.

Southern Pine Beetle Outbreaks Cause Concern in Georgia

The Georgia Forestry Commission has been closely monitoring 46 outbreaks of southern pine beetle in the south of the state. The outbreaks are small, yet alarming. The Forestry Commission says there hasn’t been an outbreak of southern pine beetle cases in the last 20 years.

Sudden Oak Death Threatens Oregon’s Economy

Sudden oak death (SOD), first discovered in southwestern Oregon in 2001, is a forest disease caused by the invasive plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. It infects and kills tanoaks and causes twig and foliar diseases in over 120 other species. The disease spreads following wet periods via spore dispersal.