Tree-SMART Trade

Growing reliance on both trees and trade makes imported forest pests the most pressing, and under-appreciated, forest health issue in the US today. Five high-priority policy actions that build on proven prevention measures can reduce the arrival and establishment of new forest pests.

Online Press Briefing

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 11am

Stopping the Importation of Forest Pests: New Actions to Protect Vulnerable Trees and Communities

In this solutions-oriented webinar, we will dig into the details of what can be done to prevent the importation of forest pests, including changes to the U.S. Farm Bill being discussed in Congress right now.

Learn what further actions would build upon the current policy proposals to prevent new damaging pests from arriving in the U.S. and destroying forests and trees.

Register to attend


Invasive Forest Pests in the United States


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.

The Study

Non-Native Forest Insects and Pathogens in the US: Impacts and Policy Options was published  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.

Non-Native Forest Insects and Pathogens in the US: Impacts and Policy Options

Press Release

Project Summary: Community Impacts and Opportunities for Tree-SMART Trade


Imported Pests in the US

States with Emerald Ash Borer

States with Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

States with White Pine Blister Rust & Whitebark Pine

Infographics & Charts

Tree-SMART Trade: Problems, Impacts, and Solutions

Tree-SMART Trade: 5 Policy Actions

A City Transformed: Worcester, MA

Economic Benefits of Reducing Pests in Solid Wood Packaging

Detections of Imported Pests 1775-2006

Annual Cost of Imported Pests



Invasive Pests Jeopardize US Forests, Kill Trees

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. 


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.


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. 


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