Forest Health

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

Don’t let the oak slug sawfly haunt you

By on August 30, 2017

Skeletons are becoming a familiar sight in Durham this summer, and it’s not from overly excited fans of Halloween décor. These skeletons are of once-green oak leaves, the remaining veins after the oak slug sawfly has had its fill. This

August is Tree Check Month

By on August 16, 2017

Trees may not need an annual visit to the doctor, but they do need care every now and then. Many homeowners with yard trees are all too familiar with annual trimming, mulching, or watering during periods of drought. Landscape trees

Variable oakleaf caterpillar has big appetite, poses minor threat (unless caterpillar poop bothers you)

By on July 26, 2017

  This summer, North Carolina has its own “Very Hungry Caterpillar,” a favorite children’s book character known for its large appetite. This caterpillar won’t eat through various fruits, cupcakes and ice cream as it does in the book, though. Rather,

2017 southern pine beetle populations low this year; few areas expecting increasing populations

By on July 12, 2017

The insect that is dubbed “the most destructive forest pest in the South” does not look nearly as ominous as it is. Smaller than a grain of rice, the southern pine beetle is small but packs a big punch. The

Music to Their Ears: Periodical cicadas are loud but pose little threat to trees

By on June 28, 2017

This year, western North Carolina got an earful.  A 17-year periodical cicada emergence is coming to an end, but is leaving ringing ears and dead branch tips in its wake. North Carolinians in the emergence areas no doubt heard the

The Nice Lice: Bark lice are nothing to worry about

By on June 14, 2017

Every parent dreads the call from their child’s school that lice has been found.  Frantic sessions of chemical dousing, hair combing, and sheet washing typically follow.  Phantom itching leave many paranoid for days or weeks to follow. Altogether, an unpleasant

Forest tent caterpillar strikes again! Outbreaks in NC continue for the third year running

By on May 17, 2017

Warm days are approaching here in North Carolina and all things spring can be seen! Beautiful flowers budding, green grass in yards, and butterflies fluttering around in the sunshine are all things you can see outside. However, if you look

Emerald ash borer takes flight

By on May 3, 2017

The days are warm now and many North Carolinians have thoughts of leaving their homes for summer vacation.  The invasive emerald ash borer is doing the same, except its destination is our beautiful ash trees. It is peak flying season

Laurel wilt disease continues to spread in NC

By on April 19, 2017

Laurel wilt is a devastating non-native disease of redbay trees and other plants in the laurel family in the Southeastern U.S. Native to Southeast Asia, it was first detected near Savannah in the early 2000s and has since spread to

It’s raining cats and… sawflies?

By on April 5, 2017

Springtime in North Carolina means it’s raining pollen!  A yellow glaze coats everything outside and many are taking their allergy medicine religiously.  But if you’re in the right place at the right time, something else might be dropping onto your