Tis the season when many Americans welcome trees into their homes. For millions of us, fresh-cut evergreens are at the heart of Christmas celebrations – a symbol of hope and joy. Sadly, the situation facing America’s trees is neither hopeful nor joyous.
The scourge of forest pests is expected to put almost two thirds of America’s forests at risk by 2027, costing several billion dollars every year for dead tree removal and jeopardizing longstanding U.S. industries that rely on timber.
In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree.
For more than half a century, scientists have converged on Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire's White Mountains to explore how forest ecosystems work. The site was established by the U.S. Forest Service to study the relationship between forests and New England's water supply.
Each year, more than 25 million shipping containers enter the U.S. All too often, highly destructive forest pests are lurking among their imported goods. Wood boring insects arrive as stowaways in wood packaging, such as pallets and crates.
In the Adirondacks and the Catskills, beech bark disease is taking out the largest beeches. Emerald ash borer, a little beetle that has killed over 100 million ash trees in the Midwest, is now active throughout the state, including the Capital Region.
A forest ecologist from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Dutchess County is the lead author of a paper about imported forest pests. Cary Institute and Harvard Forest led a team of scientists for the research. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Cary Institute Senior Scientist Dr. Gary Lovett about the report’s findings.
HUBBARD BROOK: The Story of a Forest Ecosystem captures the rich history of research at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, including how it has transformed environmental policy, resource management, and forestry practices – locally, regionally, and nationally.
In the 20th century, chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease decimated billions of U.S. trees, in forests and along urban and suburban streets. The tree diseases, caused by invasive pests, effectively changed the face of one American city landscape after another—chestnut trees were virtually wiped out and elms diminished to but a few locations—and cost local governments and homeowners a fortune.
When cheap consumer goods arrive on American shores, they sometimes bring invasive parasites that go on to decimate forests and urban trees. A new study, out Tuesday in the journal Ecological Applications, synthesizes the information available on the true costs of these species and lays out the best available policy responses.
Last week, a group of researchers published saddening news about "sudden oak death," spread by an invasive water mold, that has killed over a million trees in coastal California. The pathogen, they found, simply cannot be stopped — though it can still be contained, and the harm mitigated. But it is too extensively established now in California to eradicate.
Efforts to prevent new pests are not keeping pace with escalating trade and must be strengthened if we are to slow the loss of our nation's trees. Dr. Gary Lovett describes the threat and the steps that can be taken to save our forests.
Imported forest pests cause billions of dollars in damages each year, and U.S. property owners and municipalities foot most of the bill. Efforts to prevent new pests are not keeping pace with escalating trade and must be strengthened if we are to slow the loss of our nation’s trees. So reports a team of 16 scientists in a new paper published online today in the journal Ecological Applications.
Letter signed by 65 research scientists sent to U.S. senators working on the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The Senate has accepted an amendment to the act which would legally designate forest biomass to be "carbon neutral."
There is very cool science going on at Hubbard Brook. Scientists from Cary and other research institutions created an experimental ice storm that will improve understanding of short- and long-term effects of ice on northern forests.
A team of scientists in New Hampshire succeeded this week in capturing one of nature's most destructive forces - ice - and corralling it in two large research plots on the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.
The forest is playing a symphony. By tapping into environmental monitoring sensors at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a tool called WaterViz captures a real-time audio visualization of the forest’s water cycle.
Here in the Hudson Valley, nature’s harvest has been abundant. Nuts and fruits will help wildlife fuel their southern migrations or stock their winter larders. Not every year produces such a bounty; this season’s bumper crop of wild foods will impact local plants and animals for years to come.
By now the lesson is clear: Burning coal and petroleum produces carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas that contributes to the warming of our globe. That alone is enough reason to believe fossil fuels are not a sustainable basis for society long-term.
Ecologist Jerry Jenkins has been documenting the flora and fauna of the Northern Forest for the past 45 years. This visually-rich lecture distills his findings, with a focus on inspiring conservation and informing environmental education.
The Harvard Forest, in collaboration with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, has launched a new Science Policy Exchange project on forest pests and pathogens. This project addresses growing concerns about damage to trees, forests, and local economies caused by introduced insects.
Invasive pests and pathogens threaten the health of Northeastern forests. Cary Institute ecologist Gary Lovett has spent his career investigating the impact that species like the hemlock woolly adelgid and beech bark disease have on Catskill Mountain ecosystems.
In Ballard Park in Ridgefield, there are some lovely, thick-trunked, big-canopied beech trees, perfect for providing shade on a summer's day. They are old trees and despite their beauty, they're not healthy. They have beech bark disease.
On the rugged roadway approaching Fray Jorge National Park in north-central Chile, you are surrounded by desert. This area receives less than six inches of rain a year, and the dry terrain is more suggestive of the badlands of the American Southwest than of the lush landscapes of the Amazon.
Woodland pools are temporary wetlands that provide important habitat to forest wildlife. They also help mitigate floods. While land development is a major threat to woodland pools, there are also subtle changes that undermine their health.
Bubbling brooks and streams are a scenic and much loved feature of forest ecosystems, but long-term data at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest suggests that more productive forests might carry considerably less water.
Following an exhaustive review of more than fifty years of long term data on environmental conditions at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the results are clear: spring is advancing and fall is retreating.
While walking through the woods in the Hudson Valley, it is common to stumble upon the remnants of stone walls. Now mossy and overgrown, they date back to a time when agriculture dominated the landscape.