Statewide Forest Health

Return of Asian multicolored ladybugs

By Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff. Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0665

Multicolored Asian ladybeetles, true to their name, come in a range of colors, from orange to red, with a variety of spot sizes and numbers.

Multicolored Asian ladybeetles, true to their name, come in a range of colors, from orange to red, with a variety of spot sizes and numbers. Photo: Linda Williams

Multicolored Asian ladybeetles are not native to Wisconsin. Although there are numerous native ladybugs in the state, only the Asian variety are known to aggregate in buildings in the fall and become nuisances. Continue reading “Return of Asian multicolored ladybugs”

Public comment period for EAB silviculture guidelines revision closes October 9

By Bill McNee, forest health specialist, Oshkosh. Bill.McNee@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0942

Ash trees dying from an EAB infestation. Photo: Troy Kimoto, Bugwood.org

Ash trees dying from an EAB infestation. Photo: Troy Kimoto, Bugwood.org

The Wisconsin DNR is seeking public comments on a proposed revision to silviculture guidelines for emerald ash borer (EAB). Stand-level EAB silviculture guidelines were originally released in 2007, with periodic reviews and updates. A DNR technical team and stakeholder advisory committee prepared the current version using multiple sources of information, including recent research findings, identification and locations of new EAB infestations, economic considerations, and experience gained from implementing previous versions of the guidelines.

The draft document and information about the public comment process can be found at  https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/Guidance.html#open through Tuesday, October 9, 2018. All comments must be submitted by that date.

Requiem for an Ash

The front moves and defenses are built, but there’s no doubt which way the war is going, and little doubt what is emerging the victor: a little green bug.

Agrilus planipennis, the emerald ash borer, has harangued and harassed North American forests since the late 1990s, and its journey across Wisconsin continues, county by county, city by city, tree by tree. But this is not its story. Continue reading “Requiem for an Ash”

Look for gypsy moth egg masses

By Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh. bill.mcnee@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0942

Gypsy moth egg masses. Photo: Bill McNee

Fall is an excellent time to look for and dispose of gypsy moth egg masses produced by adult moths this summer. Gypsy moth egg masses are felt-like, tan-colored patches about the size of a nickel or quarter that gypsy moth females deposit in protected places. Surveying for egg masses helps property owners predict how high populations of the insect will be during the subsequent spring and summer. Since egg masses usually don’t hatch until April, information gained from fall/winter surveys can be used to mitigate gypsy moth damage before the following season.  Continue reading “Look for gypsy moth egg masses”

Tree decline and mortality observed at many wet sites this summer

By Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh. bill.mcnee@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0942

An aerial view of tree mortality in very wet areas. Photo: Bill McNee

An aerial view of tree mortality in very wet areas. Photo: Bill McNee

Site visits and aerial surveys conducted on trees in eastern Wisconsin by the Wisconsin DNR forest health team in July and August found multi-species decline and mortality common at many very wet sites. Continue reading “Tree decline and mortality observed at many wet sites this summer”

Oak leaf fold galls and itch mites

by Mike Hillstrom, forest health specialist (Fitchburg). Michael.Hillstrom@wisconsin.gov;
208-513-7690

Oak leaf fold galls on red oak leaves. Photo: Mike Hillstrom

Oak leaf fold galls on red oak leaves. Photo: Mike Hillstrom

Ethan Lee, parks supervisor for the City of Janesville, recently reported symptoms of oak leaf fold galls on an oak tree on the University of Wisconsin – Rock County campus. Oak leaf fold galls, caused by fly larvae, are generally harmless to trees. However, new information links oak leaf galls with a recent invasive mite from Europe, Pyemotes herfsi, commonly called the oak leaf itch mite. Although no evidence of itch mite was found on the affected red oak tree, more than 50% of the tree’s leaves contained leaf fold galls. Continue reading “Oak leaf fold galls and itch mites”

Be on the lookout for beech leaf disease

By Kyoko Scanlon, forest pathologist, Fitchburg. Kyoko.Scanlon@wisconsin.gov; 608-235-7532

Early striping from BLD as seen looking up into the canopy. Photo: The Ohio State University.

Early striping from BLD as seen looking up into the canopy. Photo: The Ohio State University.

Although beech leaf disease (BLD) has not been found in Wisconsin, forest owners and managers should keep an eye out for it on American (Fagus grandifolia) and, to a lesser extent, European (Fagus sylvatica) beech trees. Beech leaf disease is becoming a serious issue in parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario. Its cause is not yet known.

Continue reading “Be on the lookout for beech leaf disease”

Balsam fir mortality in many counties around the state

Counties shaded in blue are where balsam mortality has been reported, but the is even more widespread than this map indicates.

Counties shaded in blue are where balsam mortality has been reported, but it is even more widespread than this map indicates.

By Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0665 and Paul Cigan, forest health specialist, Hayward Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920

Reports of balsam fir suddenly turning rusty red to brown and dying have been coming in steadily this spring and summer. The accompanying map shows where this has been reported so far this year.

Spoiler alert! There are no insect or diseases involved. It appears the cause may be unusually severe winter drying or winter damage.

Continue reading “Balsam fir mortality in many counties around the state”

Fall webworms start making an appearance

By Todd Lanigan, forest health specialist, Eau Claire, WI. Todd.Lanigan@wisconsin.gov; 715-210-0150

A silken nest full of caterpillars, excrement and debris. Photo: Todd Lanigan

A silken nest full of caterpillars, excrement and debris. Photo: Todd Lanigan

Web-like nests of fall webworm (Hyphantrea cunea) caterpillars, a common native pest active from July through September, are beginning to appear in parts of the state. A common native pest throughout most of the U.S. and southern Canada, fall webworm caterpillars feed on leaves of almost all shade, fruit, and ornamental trees and shrubs, except for conifers. They typically form nests of loose webbing over the tips of tree branches.  Although populations of fall webworm caterpillars are rarely large enough to cause lasting damage to trees, the presence of nests and feeding damage from caterpillars can greatly affect trees’ aesthetic value. Typically, trees recover from feeding damage on their own, but defoliation for more than two or three years in a row could make trees more susceptible to diseases and pests.

Continue reading “Fall webworms start making an appearance”

Forest Health Program welcomes new forest invasive plant coordinator

By Jodie Ellis, communications specialist, Madison. Jodie.Ellis@wisconsin.gov; 608-843-3506

Michael Putnam

Michael Putnam, DNR Forestry’s new forest invasive plant coordinator.

The Forest Health Program is excited to welcome Mike Putnam as its new forest invasive plant coordinator. Mike has been working with the program as an LTE for more than four years in Madison; his new position is in Rhinelander. He’ll be focusing on invasive plants prevention and management with DNR foresters and partners, so please reach out to him with field work opportunities.

Continue reading “Forest Health Program welcomes new forest invasive plant coordinator”