Statewide Forest Health

Wasp releases to fight emerald ash borer (EAB)

Tetrastichus wasp is one eighth inch in length and attacks emerald ash borer larvae beneath the bark of an ash tree.

Adult T. planipennisi wasp collected as a pupa in Ozaukee County, May 2017. This species attacks EAB larvae beneath the bark. Actual size is 1/8” in length.

This summer, DNR staff will continue to do introductions of three natural enemy wasps that attack emerald ash borer: Tetrastichus planipennisi, Spathius galinae and Oobius agrili. The Tetrastichus and Spathius wasps attack EAB larvae beneath the bark, and the Oobius wasps attack EAB eggs on the bark surface. The tiny wasps do not sting or bite, and the public is unlikely to know they are present.  Continue reading “Wasp releases to fight emerald ash borer (EAB)”

Emerald ash borer new finds in Wisconsin

EAB peak emergence map. Tan color is approaching peak emergence, light green is peak emergence, and dark green is past peak EAB emergence. Map from June 19, 2017.

EAB peak emergence map. Tan color is approaching peak emergence, light green is peak emergence, and dark green is past peak EAB emergence. Map from June 19, 2017.

Initial emergence of Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) has begun in Wisconsin and is likely occurring throughout Wisconsin at this time. Peak emergence is approaching.

EAB continues to be found in new areas. Wisconsin continues to track EAB at the municipality or township level; quarantine counties are shown in tan and infested areas are shown in green on the map below.

New county quarantines

  • none

New finds in counties already quarantined

  • Columbia County — cities of Columbus and Lodi
  • Dane County — villages of Dane, Waunakee, and Windsor; cities of Fitchburg, Monona, and Sun Prairie; towns of Blooming Grove, Dane and Westport
  • Dodge County — city of Horicon
  • La Crosse County — town of Washington
  • Manitowoc County — town of Cooperstown
  • Sheboygan County — village of Elkhart Lake
  • Trempealeau County — village of Trempealeau
EAB quarantine map. Counties shaded in tan are quarantined for EAB, and include much of the southern half of Wisconsin, as well as other counties. Areas shaded in green are the townships and municipalities where EAB has actually been identified, and shows that not all counties that are quarantined are fully infested.

EAB quarantine map. Counties shaded in tan are quarantined for EAB, green areas are townships and municipalities where EAB has actually been identified.

Written by: Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, (Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov), 715-356-5211 x232.

The Asian longhorned beetle battle continues in some states, and a new area is deregulated.

Asian longhorned beetle is a large, glossy black beetle with white spots and white banding on its antennae.

Asian longhorned beetle is a large, glossy black beetle with white spots and white banding on its antennae. Photo by: Dennis Haugen on bugwood.org.

USDA APHIS continues to monitor and conduct control efforts in areas where Asian longhorned beetle is established. They recently released a statement that they were “removing 28 square miles from the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) regulated area in the eastern part of Queens, New York”. Quarantines are usually lifted after surveys have not turned up new beetles or damage in the quarantine for a certain number of years. We do not have any infestations of Asian longhorned beetle in Wisconsin that we’re aware of, but it’s necessary to stay vigilant.

 

 

Continue reading “The Asian longhorned beetle battle continues in some states, and a new area is deregulated.”

Large gypsy moth caterpillars now present; mating disruption treatments begin.

Mature gypsy moth caterpillar with distinctive blue and red dots.

Mature gypsy moth caterpillar with distinctive blue and red dots.

By late June, gypsy moth caterpillars will be large (>1” in length) and noticeable in most of Wisconsin. Nuisance caterpillar problems and defoliation from the caterpillars will be apparent by now, even in the far northern counties. As of mid-June, we have only had a few reports of nuisance caterpillars. This is a hopeful sign that populations will remain low in 2018. The June rainstorms will also help the Entomophaga fungus to kill gypsy moth caterpillars.

Continue reading “Large gypsy moth caterpillars now present; mating disruption treatments begin.”

Deciduous tree leaf loss

Black, dead areas of leaf tissue on maple leaves caused by anthracnose.

Anthracnose on maple leaves. Photo by Joleen Stinson.

As anticipated, anthracnose is common on a number of deciduous tree species statewide this spring, especially maple and ash. Many of the maple samples we’ve seen also have tar spot. The cool, wet, humid conditions this spring were ideal for fungal leaf diseases. Anthracnose symptoms appear as patches of brown or black, dead leaf tissue which may cause leaves to curl or shrivel up as damage progresses. Trees may drop the infected leaves but will send out new leaves within a few weeks.

An aspen tree with less than half the leaves it should have because frost damage.

Aspen with thin crowns caused by frost damage. Photo by Bob DeBruyckere.

Damage to other species, including aspen, cottonwood and willow appears to have been caused by frost damage. These tree species likely became active and had the buds swell during the early warm up in February, then suffered damage to the buds and twigs from the cold weather thereafter. Although the damage was severe in some cases it seems that the trees produced new buds and are working on sending out additional leaves.

Significant dieback was noted in many locations around the state, including on some hybrid poplar in Shawano County, on trembling aspen in central and northern Oconto County, and on big toothed aspen in western Vilas County. We had reports of impacted aspen, cottonwood and willow from south central, southwest, central, west central and northcentral Wisconsin. Forest health specialists in Minnesota report similar damage.

Keep impacted trees healthy by watering (where possible) during hot and dry periods to help the trees recover.

Written by: Mike Hillstrom, forest health specialist, Fitchburg, (Michael.Hillstrom@wisconsin.gov), 608-513-7690

Periodical cicadas emerging early

An annual or “Dog Day” cicada.

An annual or “Dog Day” cicada.

A recent article from Science Alert reported that some of the 17-year periodical cicadas associated with Brood X, have begun emerging – 4 years early! Brood X doesn’t typically emerge in Wisconsin, although it does emerge in some areas of Michigan and Illinois. The brood that emerges in a few areas of Wisconsin is Brood XIII which isn’t due to emerge again until 2024. We also have annual or “Dog Day” cicadas that emerge every summer in Wisconsin.

Cicadas are harmless, they do not bite or sting or attack people, they are not poisonous and don’t transmit disease, but they are big and the periodical cicadas emerge in huge numbers which can be quite upsetting to some people.

The problem for trees comes when the females lay their eggs. They use a stout ovipositor to puncture the twigs of small trees and shrubs, laying an egg in the slit created by the ovipositor. This damage to the tree can cause twigs to die and break off. Some young trees can be badly damaged and may lose most of their twigs and branches, they may die or be severely stunted.

An additional aggravation for many people is the very loud buzzing noise made by the males; some people refer to these insects as heat-bugs because their loud buzzing is often heard during the hottest days of the summer. 

Cicadas emerge from the ground, climb an object, emerge from their exoskeleton, and leave the empty exoskeleton behind after they expand their wings and fly off.

Cicadas emerge from the ground, climb an object, emerge from their exoskeleton, and leave the empty exoskeleton behind after they expand their wings and fly off.

For more info on periodical cicadas check out the Cicada Mania webpage.

Written by: Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, (Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov), 715-356-5211 x232.

Sapsucker damage

Supsuckers drill orderly holes through the bark into the cambium layer of the trees, causing them to bleed sap.

Sapsuckers drill orderly holes through the bark into the cambium layer of the trees, causing them to bleed sap.

Sapsuckers are birds that drill orderly holes through the bark of trees. The holes go just through the bark to the cambium layer, causing the tree to bleed. The sapsuckers then return to them later that day or the next day to feed on the sap. Sapsuckers are migratory and may just pass through an area in the spring, but they will sometimes return to the same tree over multiple years, creating new rows of holes each year. Trees will attempt to grow over this damage, and in most cases are successful. Occasionally the damage is so extensive that mortality can occur from that point up. Federal regulations don’t allow you to shoot sapsuckers, so control is usually some manner of deterrent, like wrapping the main stem with hardware cloth or burlap, or hanging scare tactics in the tree.

Written by: Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, (Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov), 715-356-5211 x232.

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Giant hogweed. Photo by Donna Ellis.

Giant hogweed. Photo by Donna Ellis.

Giant hogweed can be a threat to human health. Its sap has Furocoumarins (photosensitizing compounds) that can cause a skin reaction known as phyto-photodermatitis. This makes the skin highly sensitive to ultraviolet light. Swelling and blistering of the skin may lead to permanent scarring, and contact with the eyes can cause temporary and sometimes permanent blindness.

In Wisconsin, giant hogweed is classified as a prohibited species under the Invasive Species Rule (Wis. Adm. Code ch. NR 40). Its presence potentially causes economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Isolated populations of Giant hogweed have been found in Wisconsin with immediate control taking place after verification.  Continue reading “Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)”

Prepare now – gypsy moth caterpillars return

Gypsy moth caterpillar with distinctive blue and red dots

Gypsy moth caterpillar with distinctive blue and red dots

This June, gypsy moth populations may rise to damaging levels in parts of Wisconsin. High numbers of gypsy moth caterpillars are a tremendous nuisance and can strip trees of their leaves. Combined with other stresses, such as drought or attacks by additional tree pests, this may kill the tree. The insect’s favorite food is oak leaves, but it will feed on many other tree species such as aspen, birch, crabapple and willow. You can take action to reduce the number of caterpillars that will feed on your trees, including placing sticky barrier bands on the susceptible tree species. Continue reading “Prepare now – gypsy moth caterpillars return”

Oak wilt and hickory mortality Forest Health Fact Sheets are available

The forest health program is in the process of updating some of our publications as Forest Health Fact Sheets. These publications offer biology, impact, prevention and management information about specific threats to forest health. Our new oak wilt fact sheet and hickory dieback and mortality fact sheet are currently available on the DNR’s forest health oak wilt and bark beetle webpages and will be available in the DNR’s online publications catalog  in the near future. Enjoy!

Written by: Mike Hillstrom, forest health specialist, Wisconsin Dells (Michael.Hillstrom@Wisconsin.gov), 715-459-1371.