The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County is a non-profit charitable organization based in Chester County, PA. Our mission is to ensure the perpetual preservation and stewardship of open space, natural resources, historic sites, and working agricultural lands throughout southern Chester County.
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Trees in your Backyard
From our Forest Steward friends, I thought this press release was worth passing along. The composition of our native woodlands is ever evolving, and here are some things to look for as these pests and diseases find their way into PA. More questions about forests?? Our Landscape Visionaries team is happy to help!
Forest Stewardship Program Associate
For Immediate Release
August Is Tree Check
University Park, PA – With invasive pests and diseases threatening the diversity of
Pennsylvania's woods, it's incumbent on landowners and the general public alike
to keep watch over the trees that contribute to our state's beauty. The US
Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA
APHIS) has declared August "Tree Check Month." It’s the right time to
get out into the woods and watch for signs of diseased and dying trees.
In Pennsylvania, we
already see the impacts of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and the dead and dying ash
trees throughout the state (EAB has been confirmed in 39 counties, but the
entire state remains under quarantine and the insect is expected to spread
throughout); Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) and the dead and dying hemlocks on
mountainsides and along streams, soon to impact water quality and temperature;
and the native forest tent caterpillar and non-native gypsy moth, which have
been and continue to be part of Pennsylvania's forest ecosystem. And while
there are practices, chemical, and biological control methods that can help
mitigate the spread of these insects, the task is daunting. It’s a sad time for
Now with two more
threatening insects, one with an associated fungus, on our borders or in
isolated areas of the state, it is imperative that we all become more vigilant
about dead and dying trees.
The Asian Longhorned
Beetle (ALB), Anoplophora glabipennis, is a non-native insect first
discovered in Brooklyn, New York in 1996 and detected in Chicago in 1998. In
the 2000s, it was found in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and most recently
discovered in southeastern Ohio. While not yet found in Pennsylvania, ALB is
one of the more aggressive invasive insects that could easily make its way
here. ALB kills trees as the larvae feed in the branches and stems. ALB grows,
reproduces in, and kills up to thirteen genera of trees, including maple,
birch, horse chestnut and buckeye, poplar, willow, elm, ash, and alder.
Beetles are large, shiny, black insects with random white spots. They measure 1
to 1 ½ inches long, with black and white banded antennae as long as (females)
or twice as long as (males) their bodies. Adults are active from mid-May until
early August. The females scrape a small notch in the bark to lay eggs. The
larvae bore in to the branches and trunk to feed in the wood and cambial layer
of the tree. Mature larvae pupate within the galleries they have made, and
adults chew their way out leaving round, dime-sized exit holes. August is a
peak emergence time for the adult beetles and a time when landowners and
members of the public can help to check trees for the beetles.
2011 Thousand Cankers Disease, a disease complex that attacks black walnut (Juglans
nigra) made up of a native (western species) walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus
juglandis) and a native fungus (Geosmithia morbida), was found in
Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Until recently this disease primarily affected
eastern black walnut planted outside its native range in Western States. In the
summer of 2010, it was first noticed in Knoxville, Tennessee, well within the
native range of black walnut and it has begun to spread. In 2012 the walnut
twig beetle and the fungus were identified in southeastern Ohio.
kill the tree, as the beetle feeds on black walnut branches, it creates
numerous galleries beneath the bark. The adult beetles carry the fungal spores
and introduce them into the phloem when they construct the galleries. Small
cankers develop around the galleries, which then enlarge and coalesce to
completely girdle the branches. Trees die as a result of the canker infestations
at the thousands of beetle attack sites. Usually the first sign of infestation
is thinning crowns in the black walnuts, yellowing or wilted leaves on limbs,
and then branch death.
most important thing you can do to protect your trees is to check them
regularly and encourage others to do so too. You don't have to wait for
August to roll around each year to do these checks. Learn about other symptoms
and signs of infestation and disease. Early detection is crucial to maintaining
For more information on these and other insects, visit the DCNR Bureau of
Forestry’s Forest Pest Insects and Disease website, at: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/insectsdisease/index.htm.
To report possible
infested trees in Pennsylvania, contact the Pennsylvania Department of
Agriculture at 1-866-253-7189, the DCNR Bureau of Forestry, Division of Pest
Management at: 717-948-3941 or email: Badbug@pa.gov.
Forest Stewardship Program provides publications on a variety of topics related
to woodland management. For a list of free publications, call 800 234 9473
(toll free), send an email to RNRext@psu.edu,
or write to Forest Stewardship Program, Natural Resources Extension, The
Pennsylvania State University, 416 Forest Resources Building, University Park,
PA 16802. The Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of Forestry and USDA Forest Service, in
Partnership with Penn State's Department of Ecosystem Science and Management,
sponsor the Forest Stewardship Program in Pennsylvania.