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,

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/

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

Trees and Pests: A different pathway

by Loose Leaf Contributor
The spread of white pine blister rust in the U.S. and Canada from 1920 to present.

By Faith Campbell, Emeritus environmental advocate and tree-pest expert

My previous blogs examined the risk to American forests from insects introduced by traveling on crates, pallets and other forms of wood packaging material (WPM). A second pathway for the introduction of tree-killing insects and disease pathogens is imports of live plants. Close to two-thirds of 91 pests now ravaging our wildland and urban forests pr... (Read More)

Fracking at George Washington National Forest

by Rebecca Turner
About one percent of the total 1.1 million acres in George Washington National Forest will be drilled using the hydarulic fracturing, or fracking, method. Photo credit: Aneta Kaluzna

On Nov. 18, the U.S. Forest Service released the much-anticipated management plan for the George Washington National Forest. At the heart of that anticipation was whether the Forest Service would uphold a proposed ban of hydraulic fracturing in the forest — it would have been the first national forest to have such a ban. Instead, the Forest Service compromised, allowing hydraulic fracturing — known more familiarly as fracking — where lea... (Read More)

Strengthening enforcement to protect our forests

by Loose Leaf Contributor
Diseased and dead ash trees — victims of the emerald ash borer — can wreak havoc on communities. Photo credit: Major Hefje, Ann Arbor, Mich.

By Faith Campbell, Emeritus environmental advocate and tree-pest expert

As my earlier blogs have demonstrated, highly damaging, tree-killing insects are introduced to North America in crates, pallets and other forms of wood packaging material (WPM).

Since it was first detected in 1996, U.S. and Canadian authorities have spent more than $500 million trying to eliminate the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). These ... (Read More)