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An Important Action to Take: Check Your Trees!

Did you know that USDA has declared August as Tree Check Month? That’s because August is the peak time of year to spot the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB)—an invasive wood-boring beetle that attacks 12 types of hardwood trees in North America, such as maples, elms, horse chestnuts, birches and willows. Checking trees for the beetle and the damage it causes is one way residents can protect their own trees and help USDA’s efforts to eliminate this pest from the United States.

After a Blight, the Trees that Survived Need Your Help

Humans adores trees. But humans also migrate and trade, habits that led to the accidental introduction of insects and diseases that harm trees and alter the landscape. Examples are easy to find and may be outside your front door: American elms that once dotted streets across America succumbed to Dutch elm disease. Now all colors of ash species – black, green, white, pumpkin, and blue – are threatened by emerald ash borer. The already uncommon butternut tree, also known as white walnut, faces the possibility of extinction from a mysterious attacker.

Tree Rings Tell the History of Fire and Forest Health

Why are Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists sampling tree rings in the Pinaleño Mountains of southeast Arizona? Because tree ring samples reveal the history of fire. When fire scorches a tree, the tree floods its wound with sap, which protects the wound from wood rot decay for hundreds of years, as long as fires keep burning at a low intensity.

Tree Breeding: Creating Tomorrow’s Healthy Forests Today

Immobile and long-lived, trees endure extreme weather, fires, and pests for tens, hundreds, and even thousands of years. In Fishlake National Forest, Utah, there is a quaking aspen colony spanning 106 acres that is roughly 80,000 years old. To give you a sense of scale, if the average human lives 79 years, this aspen colony has already lived over a thousand times longer!

Climbing Trees – How I Met My Beetle Family and Gave Back to the Community

April may be Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month, but I live it year-round. I spend my days with a team of fellow tree climbers, looking for signs of Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) damage in the treetops of Bethel, Ohio. This is where ALB damage is most evident – oftentimes not visible from the ground level. ALB damages and kills maple and other hardwood trees.

Reforestation Tool to Help Determine Where to Plant Tree Seedlings

After timber harvest or a forest fire, reforestation is essential for a productive working landscape and healthy ecosystem. When replanting you need to decide where you will get tree seeds or seedlings. To help you and other forest land managers, reforestation scientists at the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon State University, and the Conservation Biology Institute developed a web-based mapping application, the Seedlot Selection Tool.