Archive for Forestry Files

Invasive insect vs. invasive plant: The kudzu bug and kudzu

Kudzu. You’ve probably heard of and seen this climbing vine that can cover, smother and kill other plants. The kudzu bug is an insect that may feed on not only kudzu, but other legumes as well. It may sound like a biological control effort gone awry, but the story is quite the opposite. Kudzu was […]

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Some insects have the gall to deform plant structures

Have you ever seen an abnormal swelling or structure on a plant that normally shouldn’t be there? It probably caused you to scratch your head and wonder what was going on. And if it’s on an ornamental tree in your yard, you probably thought that swelling did not look so swell. It’s possible you were […]

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The Butterfly Effect: The impact of an invasive disease on native butterfly populations

Laurel wilt disease, a disease caused by a fungal pathogen, has already had major impacts on redbay trees across the Southeast. The pathogen is spread from tree to tree by the non-native redbay ambrosia beetle, a small insect that seeks out healthy redbays. A single beetle attacking a tree can spell doom and trees may […]

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S’mores, hot dogs and invasive species: Don’t move firewood for summer campouts

Ahhh … in case going outside into the sauna-like heat hasn’t reminded you, summer has officially arrived! Kids are out of school, meaning it’s a time to go to the pool, a time to relax and, for some families, a time to take a family vacation.  Many families may opt to explore the great outdoors […]

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Southern pine beetle trapping indicates a low infestation year for NC

Southern pine beetle traps, which were set across the state this spring by N.C. Forest Service district staff and others, have given us some good news! According to the trapping results, there will likely be a low number of southern pine beetle infestations in the state this year. That is good news because the southern pine beetle […]

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Flying purple beetle eaters: Emerald ash borer traps hung across the state

You may have already seen them along roadsides: 3-feet-tall purple prisms, hanging in trees. No, there’s not a child crying somewhere about his lost kite. These are traps for the emerald ash borer, an invasive tree-killing insect detected in North Carolina for the first time last year. Between 1,300 and 1,400 traps are currently being […]

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Annual southern pine beetle trapping season comes to a close

The southern pine beetle is a small insect capable of causing catastrophic damages in pine forests. In the past several years, “the most destructive pest in the South” has caused an estimated $1.5 billion in damages [Forest Heath Technology Enterprise Team report 2014]. The N.C. Forest Service monitors populations of the beetle each spring to […]

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April tornadoes bring damage to N.C. forests

In the past several weeks, severe storms plagued North Carolina, leaving paths of destruction behind. Tornadoes, high winds, hail and flooding can all cause major damages to forest trees, urban and shade trees, and structures. Last week, the N.C. Forest Service aerially surveyed counties affected by tornadoes in the northeastern part of the state. During […]

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Emerald ash borer-fighting wasps continue to be released

Almost a year ago, the emerald ash borer was detected in North Carolina for the first time. The invasive beetle, which bores into and kills ash trees, was found in four N.C. counties in 2013 (Granville, Person, Vance and Warren). From September to early November of last year, the N.C. Forest Service released wasps to […]

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The beautiful Bradford pear: In the eye of the beholder

After months of cold, ice and snowpocalypses, the first signs of spring are a welcome sight to North Carolina. Along with tulips popping their pretty heads up, the white, fluffy flowers of the Bradford pear tree are among the first bloomers, alerting North Carolinians that warmer weather lies just ahead. Yes, North Carolina, spring has […]

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