Timber sale

Heterobasidion Root Disease Approaches

By Alex Feltmeyer, Forest Health Specialist, Plover, Alexandra.Feltmeyer@wisconsin.gov or 715-340-3810

A Heterobasidian root disease fruiting body at the base of a white pine sapling

A Heterobasidion root disease fruiting body is found at the base of a white pine sapling in the understory. Photo: Wisconsin DNR Forest Health

Heterobasidion Root Disease (formerly annosum root rot or Fomes root rot) is a serious disease of conifers that causes reduced height, shoot and diameter growth along with thin and yellowish/red foliage, ultimately causing mortality.

The disease becomes established in a new stand when spores of the fungus land on freshly cut stumps made by any forest management that creates cut stumps. After the disease becomes established, it spreads underground through root systems into adjacent trees. In this way, we often find pockets or groups of trees in various stages of decline.

Movement through the root systems contributes to significant spread throughout stands of conifers, impacting the regeneration of conifers within these pockets.

Mortality usually starts occurring three to eight years after a thinning operation. During this time, perennial fruiting bodies of the fungus begin to develop around the base of cut stumps or dead trees.

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NHAL plans posted for review

Tree planting and the timber sale plans for Wisconsin’s largest state forest – the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest – are available on the DNR website for public review. Please submit comments to Forestry Team Leader Tom Shockley (715-614-4443) by July 16, 2018.

Established in 1925 to protect the headwaters of the Wisconsin, Flambeau and Manitowish rivers, the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest occupies more than 232,000 acres in northern Wisconsin and has more than 900 lakes within its boundaries. The forest provides employment and economic support to rural and urban communities through the production of forest products, recreation and tourism.

Property Manager Craig Dalton (715-356-5211 ext. 258) reports these 2017 forest management accomplishments as highlighted in the notes from the annual property management meeting:

  • Approximately 4000 acres of timber sales represented in 35 sales were offered for sale in FY16-17.
  • Roughly 64,000 cords of pulpwood and 1.128 million board feet of saw logs were harvested off the property last year.
  • Regular timber sale receipts totaled $3,654,455.93.
  • A significant wind event in 2017 resulted in major salvage harvests totaling an additional $163,868.09 in stumpage revenue.

Your comments on the proposed new work plans are welcomed by July 16th.