Balsam woolly adelgid: the smallest and biggest reason to reconsider the importance of subalpine fir

Forest Service staff have noted widespread and rapid subalpine fir mortality across forests in ID and UT. The non-native, invasive balsam woolly adelgid (BWA), Adelges piceae Ratzburg, was confirmed as the primary insect responsible for large areas of subalpine fir mortality in Utah on September 6, 2017. This webinar will provide background on the current status of the true fir host type in Utah and beyond. Webinar content will explain biology, ecology and movement of BWA and how this insect kills trees. We will also discuss practical skills for field identification and current management options. Drawing on our current collaborative efforts, the webinar will close with a question answer session hosted by several entomologists. Continue reading

Resistance breeding for evergreens is beginning to yield results

by Dee Shore, NC State University

At the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, N.C., postdoctoral researcher Ben Smith patiently tends thousands of evergreen seedlings. His goal: to find at least a few that will tolerate two tiny but troublesome pests.

Part of NC State University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Smith works for the nonprofit Forest Restoration Alliance. His experiments have implications not only for important area industries but also for the fate of forests threatened by invasive insects. Continue reading

Root rot threatens traditional Christmas fir trees

From the Daily Reflector

Jeff Pollard trudged up the steep slope and stopped at a desiccated, rust-brown tree. Two months earlier, workers had tagged this Fraser fir as ready for market.

It was going to be someone’s Christmas tree. And now it was dead.

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Scientists seek public’s help to aid trees

When Sharon Bryant read an e-mail asking citizens to help find healthy infested hemlocks, she wanted to help. Bryant, a middle school science and math teacher in Lenoir County, had a number of hemlocks in her backyard, all of which were covered with the cottony hemlock woolly adelgid, but a few that were still green and thriving. With a call to researchers at North Carolina State University, Bryant became one of the first citizen scientists to participate in the new “Tiny Terrors” project, designed to collect cuttings from hemlock and Fraser fir trees in an attempt to breed adelgid-resistant trees.

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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! How important is IPM for your branches!

You don’t have to travel very far—indeed you just need to go as far as your neighborhood “big box” or grocery story—to find a healthy offering of Christmas trees. In the Southern US, Fraser firs are among the favorite. In fact, Frasers are one of the favorites of White House residents, as it has graced the Blue Room more than any other tree since the 1960s. The Internet is lush with information about how to size a tree for the space it will occupy and how to care for the tree once you’ve gotten it home. I’m going to focus on a topic that few people want to think out—pests and diseases that can affect Christmas trees.

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Forest Insect Expert Fred Hain Receives Order of Longleaf Pine

Dr. Fred Hain, a retired NC State University entomology professor, has joined the long list of distinguished North Carolinians to receive the Order of the Longleaf Pine award.

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