Forest Health

Forest Health includes regular contributions from Forest Health Monitoring Coordinator Kelly Oten and other NC Forest Service Forest Health personnel.

Hurricane Dorian & Our Trees: Minor Immediate Impact, Implications for Long-term Impacts to Tree Health

By on September 11, 2019

After devastating the Bahamas and other Caribbean Islands before turning north and skirting the eastern U.S. coast, Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Cape Hatteras in North Carolina on Sept. 6, 2019 as a Category 1 storm. A four-to-seven-foot storm surge

No Calm after the Storm: Water Stress, Drought, and Mortality in Forest Trees in Eastern North Carolina following Hurricane Florence

By on August 29, 2019

It’s been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed our coast, yet many effects from the onslaught still linger. One of these is in our forests. Many factors can cause stress in trees, sometimes leading to their death, and in

Have Fungus, Will Travel: Tree-killing disease jumps to Tennessee and Kentucky

By on August 7, 2019

An unwelcome sight has plagued our coastal forests for years now. Dead redbay trees line the roadways and mar our coastal forests in southeastern N.C. These trees are dead because of an invader—a non-native fungus carried from tree to tree

Busy Summer for Invasive Tree-Killer: Emerald ash borer detected in 11 new counties since May

By on July 19, 2019

Summer is often full of plans, but no one has been busier this year than the emerald ash borer. Although small, this invasive beetle is killing countless ash trees across the state. Since May, it has been confirmed in 11

Here We Go Again! Forest Tent Caterpillar Outbreak Continues for Fifth Year

By on June 5, 2019

The forest tent caterpillar strikes again! Just after getting them this spring, trees along the Roanoke River, Chowan River, and Lake Waccamaw once again lost their leaves. The very hungry caterpillar responsible for this defoliation, the forest tent caterpillar, is

A Last Meal: Blackheaded ash sawfly munches while it still can

By on May 8, 2019

Countless native insects feed upon our forest trees each year. Typically, their feeding is so minor, it goes undetected and has no long-term effect on tree health. When pest populations do rise, these sporadic and often small outbreaks are unusual

You’re not from around here, are ya? Invasive species are a worldwide issue

By on March 27, 2019

There are several strangers in a strange land here in North Carolina. In fact, the majority of our worst forest pests are non-native invasive species. In the 1990s, the tree-killing hemlock woolly adelgid was first found in N.C. and can

Small but Mighty: Southern pine beetle trapping underway

By on March 6, 2019

Although it is smaller than a grain of rice, the southern pine beetle is dubbed the ‘most destructive forest pest in the South’. Each year, the N.C. Forest Service tries to predict if there will be an outbreak of this

Laurel wilt found in Lenoir County for first time

By on February 7, 2019

Big things come in small packages, and that is certainly true in the case of laurel wilt disease, though not in a good way. The tree-killing disease has already killed an estimated half a billion redbay trees across the Southeast.

Bug Off: Agency hard at work to keep invasive moth out of N.C.

By on January 23, 2019

The gypsy moth is not a new problem to the United States. Introduced from Europe to the Boston area in the 1860s, this invasive insect is now considered the worst pest of hardwood trees in eastern United States. Gypsy moth