Statewide Forest Health

Woodpecker Damage On Ash Trees May Indicate Emerald Ash Borer

By Bill McNee; DNR Forest Health specialist, Oshkosh;
Bill.McNee@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0942

Photo showing woodpecker damage on an ash tree trunk, an early sign the tree might be infested with emerald ash borer.

Woodpecker damage is an early sign an ash tree might be infested with emerald ash borer. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages property owners to watch for woodpecker damage to their ash trees this winter. If damage is found, property owners should make plans to take action in the spring.

Woodpecker damage, often called “flecking,” happens when birds peck away some of a tree’s bark to access the larvae underneath. Flecking is a common early sign that an ash tree might be infested with emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect. EAB is the most damaging threat to Wisconsin trees, killing more than 99% of the untreated ash trees it infests.

Continue reading “Woodpecker Damage On Ash Trees May Indicate Emerald Ash Borer”

Bronze Birch Borer Attacks Stressed Birch

By Linda Williams, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff;
Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665

Photo of a white birch tree with its top half dying from bronze birch borer attack.

Bronze birch borer has attacked these trees, and parts of the tree above the attack site are thin and declining. / Photo Credit: Linda Williams, Wisconsin DNR

Bronze birch borer (Agrilus anxius) is a native beetle that attacks birch trees. As adults emerge from the bark, they create small, D-shaped exit holes, similar to emerald ash borer but smaller.

Bronze birch borer attacks stressed trees, and the source of the stress can be anything from drought, flooding, defoliation or old age.

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Read All About It: Forest Health Annual Report Published

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health Outreach and Communications Specialist
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

Graphic showing the front cover of the Wisconsin DNR Forest Health 2023 Annual Report.

The front cover of the Wisconsin DNR Forest Health 2023 Annual Report. / Graphic Credit: Wisconsin DNR

2023 was a busy year for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Health Program. Summaries of activities and progress can be found in the program’s annual report for 2023, which was published on Jan. 31.

The annual report was the last one edited by DNR Invasive Forest Insects Program Coordinator Andrea Diss-Torrance, who retired in late January.

Continue reading “Read All About It: Forest Health Annual Report Published”

February Appearances Planned For Forest Health Staff

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR outreach/communications specialist, Fitchburg;
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

Gearing up for what is expected to be a busy spring and summer, specialists from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forest Health team have booked multiple public appearances for February.

Photo of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources forest pathologist Kyoko Scanlon presenting a talk. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources forest pathologist Kyoko Scanlon presents a talk at the 2023 North Central Forest Pest Workshop in Wausau. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Details on the scheduled February appearances: Continue reading “February Appearances Planned For Forest Health Staff”

Andrea Diss-Torrance Retires After 30 Years In Forest Health

By DNR staff

Photo of Andrea Diss-Torrance, who has retired as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Invasive Forest Insects Program coordinator

Andrea Diss-Torrance, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Invasive Forest Insects Program coordinator, retired last month after a 30-year career with the DNR. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

After an incredibly productive and meaningful 30-year career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Andrea Diss-Torrance retired on Jan. 24.

“It’s been an honor to watch Andrea tackle forest health issues with her mixture of determination, humor and intelligence,” Forest Health team leader Becky Gray said of the coordinator of the team’s invasive forest insects program. “She will be greatly missed as she starts her next adventures.”

Diss-Torrance plans to spend time in retirement on sculpture, plant breeding and travel.

Continue reading “Andrea Diss-Torrance Retires After 30 Years In Forest Health”

Don’t Let Japanese Barberry ‘Tick’ You Off

By Erika Segerson-Mueller, DNR Invasive Plant Program Specialist, Oshkosh Service Center;
erika.segersonmueller@wisconsin.gov or 715-492-0391

Photo showing Japanese barberry quickly growing into a dense infestations in a forest.

Japanese barberry can quickly grow into dense infestations in forests, outcompeting native plants and providing ideal hiding places for white-footed mice that serve as hosts for blacklegged ticks. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Most small talk in Wisconsin revolves around three things: the weather, the Green Bay Packers … and in the summer months, how darn bad the ticks are.

If you spend time working or playing outside, you likely know firsthand that ticks in Wisconsin are serious business. Because most of us prefer to minimize our interactions with the tiny arachnids, here’s another tick prevention tactic to add to your arsenal — along with clothing treated with permethrin, long socks and frequent tick checks: Rid your property of Japanese barberry.

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Subscriber Survey Coming To Your Email

Icon of a survey under the DNR Forestry News banner

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources soon will launch an email survey of Forest Health News subscribers. / Graphic Credit: Wisconsin DNR

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health Outreach and Communications, Fitchburg Service Center;
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

Every five years or so, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Forest Health Team surveys the readership of the Forest Health News to gain insight into the types of articles our readers find most valuable and interesting.

The next survey should arrive in your email folders within the next few weeks.

Continue reading “Subscriber Survey Coming To Your Email”

Please Report Beech Scale Outside Of Door County

Map showing locations of known moderate or high beech scale populations as of November 2023, in red.

Locations of known moderate or high beech scale populations as of November 2023 are shown in red. High populations are known to be widespread in Door County. / Map Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

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

Earlier this year, we reported that high populations of the non-native insect beech scale (Cryptococcus fagisuga) were identified for the first time in Marinette and Sheboygan counties. Since then, several more sites with moderate or high scale populations have been identified (see map).

Continue reading “Please Report Beech Scale Outside Of Door County”

Make Your 2024 Spongy Moth Treatment Plans Early

Photo of a finger pointing to a tan-colored spongy moth egg mass on a tree.

A finger points to a tan-colored spongy moth egg mass on a tree. / Photo Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

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

If the 2024 spring and summer weather conditions are favorable for the spongy moth (Lymantria dispar) population, the current outbreak will continue and spread to other parts of Wisconsin. Property owners are encouraged to examine susceptible host trees (including oak, birch, crabapple, aspen and willow) and make plans to manage them.

In summer 2023, Wisconsin saw a record amount of defoliation. State agencies received many calls from property owners urgently seeking a tree care business to control a large caterpillar infestation.

Continue reading “Make Your 2024 Spongy Moth Treatment Plans Early”

Harvest Timing Affected By Spongy Moth

Photo showing numerous spongy moth egg masses on an oak tree in Walworth County, Wisconsin

Numerous spongy moth egg masses on an oak tree in Walworth County. / Photo Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

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

Forest managers planning silvicultural treatments in stands susceptible to spongy moth (Lymantria dispar) – such as those containing many host species, including oak, birch, aspen and basswood – are encouraged to conduct annual egg mass surveys before treatment.

Surveys make it possible to predict if heavy defoliation is likely. If more than 30 egg masses are found in a sample area – a circle with a 37-foot diameter – then heavy defoliation is expected in the spring, and management activities should be altered or delayed until an outbreak has ended. Continue reading “Harvest Timing Affected By Spongy Moth”