Invasive Forest Pests in the United States
COMMUNITY IMPACTS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR TREE-SMART TRADE
A team of scientists completed the most comprehensive synthesis to date of the ecological and economic impacts of imported forest insects and pathogens. They concluded that preventing future invasions is crucial for stemming this costly and ecologically damaging problem. Based on that research, the Cary Institute and the Science Policy Exchange are proposing five Tree-SMART Trade actions that will help safeguard trees and alleviate the economic burden on local governments and communities.
Non-Native Forest Insects and Pathogens in the US: Impacts and Policy Options was published on May 10 in the journal Ecological Applications. The paper was written by a team of 16 scientists led by Dr. Gary Lovett, a Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. It is the most comprehensive synthesis available on the problem of imported forest pests, covering ecological and economic impacts as well as policy solutions.
Infographics & Charts
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.
Along the Cherohala Skyway in NC, stands of eastern hemlock are dying due to the hemlock woolly adelgid. Red spruce are being planted to help fill the gap left by the dying hemlocks.
Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Inspector examines solid wood packaging.
Credit: USDA APHIS PPQ
Emerald ash borer larva carving a gallery.
Credit: John Hritz
On Martha’s Vineyard, MA, hundreds of acres of oak trees have been killed by winter moth, an imported forest pest that is spreading throughout MA and into neighboring states. Winter moth attacks many hardwoods including oak, maple, basswood, and elm.
Credit: David R. Foster
USDA-APHIS inspectors examining imported plants for infestations.
Credit: USDA APHIS
Lifetime benefits of a tree
Credit: Heartland Tree Alliance
Major support for this work was provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the F.M. Kirby Foundation.