Asian Longhorned Beetle

Asian longhorned beetle. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Forests are under attack from invasive species, diseases and unprecedented outbreak of pests, while trying to withstand stress caused by climate change and drought. The Midwest is fighting is the invasive species emerald ash borer, which is killing tens of millions of ash trees. New England has seen tens of thousands of trees succumb to the Asian longhorned beetle, which, if it spreads, is estimated to be able to destroy 30 percent of the country’s hardwoods. In the West, millions of trees are being lost to the combined threat of mountain pine beetles and white pine blister rust. Cities across the country have lost tens of thousands of elm trees to Dutch elm disease over the last 60 years. Developing strong management and restoration plans is essential to protecting our forests from invasives, disease and pests.

Our Strategy

Each threat to forests requires us to take a unique approach to solving it.

Through American Forests Global ReLeaf, we work to replant trees, including disease-resistant trees, in areas harmed by disease, insects and more.

A mountain pine beetle excavating a tunnel in a ponderosa pine

A mountain pine beetle excavating a tunnel in a ponderosa pine. Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Meanwhile, our Endangered Western Forests initiative is helping fight myriad threats to our western forests by planting disease-resistant trees, applying insect-repelling pheromone patches to trees, developing new management plans and more.

Injecting an ash tree to protect against EAB

Injecting an ash tree to protect against emerald ash borer. Credit: David Cappaert, Michigan State University/Bugwood.org

Other issues can be addressed more efficiently through policy than field work by trying to prevent future problems, as well as fixing current ones. This approach has led to our efforts in advocating for sustainable forest management, economic incentives for landowners to keep their property forested, and recognition of forests as water resources.

Take Action

Visit American Forests’ Action Center to send pre-written letters to Congress and other representatives to support sound wildfire policy. Letters available now include:

donate_editDonate to American Forests to support our work, like our efforts to protect forests from the threats they face.

 

 

Forest Threats News from our Loose Leaf blog



Quiet, Please. The Tree is Speaking.


by Susan Laszewski
Artist Alex Metcalf’s Tree Listening Project, shown here in 2009, allows visitors to listen to the sounds of trees drawing water from their roots. Now, scientists are learning to discern which of these sounds are indicative of drought conditions. Credit: Tom Grinsted.As sci-fi as it sounds, the news that trees make noise beyond the human range of hearing — and that some of these noises communicate important messages to other organisms — is not new. Studies have shown, for example, that some plants release pollen in response to bees’ buzzing. But could trees be saying anything to us? Okay, they may not be speaking to us directly, but new research suggests that, if we learn how to listen, we could gain... (Read More)



A Pesky (and Costly) Problem


by Loose Leaf Team
U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologists inspect orange trees for Asian citrus psyllids.By Tacy Lambiase Think you know the impact that invasive pests can have on our ecosystems and pocketbooks? You might want to think again. Every year, pesky insects and pathogens cost our nation billions of dollars in damaged crops and forestlands. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a list of the top 15 pests that pose the greatest threats to our agricultural system and trees. Some of the insects on th... (Read More)



Disappearance of the Monarch


by Loose Leaf Team
Monarch butterflyBy Michelle Werts What’s black and white and orange all over? Probably many things, but I’m thinking specifically of the monarch butterfly. Why? Because earlier this week, Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas announced that the wintering population of the monarch butterfly declined by 59 percent this winter. The monarch — which can’t be counted individually, but whose population is measured instead by the amount ... (Read More)