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



Fewer Beetles May Not Mean Fewer Concerns


by Susan Laszewski
These brown trees in Rocky Mountain National Park are casualties of the mountain pine beetle epidemic Once the numbers came in from the U.S. Forest Service’s annual aerial survey last month, people started to feel hopeful: The mountain pine beetle was declining in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. In fact, the beetle infected fewer acres in Colorado in 2013 than in any year since 1998. Through our Endangered Western Forests initiative, American Forests has been working to stem the tide of the mountain pine beetle. This native beetle ha... (Read More)



Root Rot


by Loose Leaf Team
Douglas-Fir, the species threatened by root rot.By John-Miguel Dalbey Stands of Douglas-fir, commonly referred to as “Christmas trees,” across the Pacific Northwest have been fighting off root rotting fungus for millennia; however in recent years, the rot, combined with other tree diseases, has been killing Douglas-fir at an alarmingly increasing rate. Scientists have begun to suspect that climate change’s effect on the area has led to an increase of these infestations. This effect co... (Read More)



A Beetle’s Northward March


by Loose Leaf Team
Southern pine beetle damage.By Lisa Swann You have no doubt heard by now the story of the mountain pine beetle devastating hundreds of thousands of acres of forests in the western U.S. A similar tale is playing out in the mid-Atlantic, as the southern pine bark beetle has taken hold in the vast and dense New Jersey pinelands. About the size of a grain of uncooked rice, the beetle destroys trees. Sub-zero temperatures used to control it, but now with global warming rais... (Read More)