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.
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.
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.
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.
Visit American Forests’ Action Center to send pre-written letters to Congress and other representatives to support sound wildfire policy. Letters available now include:
Forest Threats News from our Loose Leaf blog
by Lisa Swann
A new study from researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder shows that younger trees with smoother bark are better at repelling the mountain pine beetle. The epidemic pine beetle attack has spread across western states since 1996, affecting millions of acres of forest, including those in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Colorado doctoral student Scott Ferrenberg, who led the study, noted that the mountain pine beetle had a har... (Read More)
by Lisa Swann
Some of you may have brought a perfect, green Christmas tree home by now, but consider the fate of some Leyland cypress and Frasier firs that could not be sold this year. Needle blight, which turns Leyland cypress trees’ needles brown, has been impacting many growers. After the needles turn brown, they fall off. Some farmers found they have fewer of their best-selling trees to sell this year. Jim Butler, owner of Homestead Christmas T... (Read More)
by Susan Laszewski
You might expect to find a blog post about how to use pheromones to their full potential on a dating blog, but we’re not talking about human pheromones. We’re talking about beetles. At American Forests, we’ve been using a synthetic version of the pheromone verbenone to repel the destructive mountain pine beetle from whitebark pine. The verbenone patches mimic that which the beetles give off to communicate to other beetles that the tr... (Read More)