Sunlight vs. Hemlock Woolly Adelgids

Scientists have identified a potential new strategy for protecting hemlocks from the miniscule insect that plagues them. “High levels of sunlight help reduce hemlock woolly adelgid abundance on young seedlings,” says U.S. Forest Service project leader Bud Mayfield. “Follow-up experiments in the field are still needed, but the results suggest thinning or strategically creating gaps…  More 

Sap-sucking Bugs Threaten Hemlock Forests

Sap-sucking insects called hemlock woolly adelgids are draining the life from a common evergreen tree in the eastern United States. Since arriving from Japan in the 1950s, the tiny bugs have spread from Georgia to Maine—about half of the Eastern hemlock’s range. Once the bugs become well-established, the consequences can be grave. Areas with severe…  More 

White Pines, Hemlocks, and Sunlight

The Blue Valley Experimental Forest (Blue Valley) lies in southwest North Carolina in the Nantahala National Forest. Located in Macon County, near the point where North Carolina meets Georgia and South Carolina, the experimental forest was established in 1964. At 1,300 acres, it is the smallest of the three experimental forests in North Carolina and the second smallest…  More 

Paris of the South, Beer City — and Now Climate City

A recent conference titled “Measure Locally, Respond Globally” brought 35 journalists to Asheville, North Carolina, to learn more about what researchers and entrepreneurs are doing to address climate change — and may have also sparked a new nickname for the city of Asheville. The conference, held August 15 and 16, was sponsored by the National Association of…  More 

The Appalachian-Cumberland Highland: The Next 50 Years

Knowing more about how the future might unfold can improve decisions that are sure to have long-term consequences. The Southern Forest Futures Project, a multi-agency effort led by the U.S. Forest Service, aimed to forecast and interpret changes in southern forests under multiple scenarios over the next several decades. The project also included a suite…  More 

A New View of the Forest Canopy of the Smokies

Researchers working at the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center office in Asheville, North Carolina, are just a short drive away from one of the most biodiverse places on the planet: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles 800 square miles of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Although they and…  More 

Water Yields from Southern Appalachian Watersheds in Decline since the 1970s

Where would we be without the water we get from cool mountain streams? In the densely populated southeastern U.S., forested watersheds are particularly important to drinking water supplies. Recent estimates show that southern forests deliver surface drinking water to some 48.7 million people, with streams from the mountainous Southern Appalachian region alone providing water supplies…  More 

FIA Data Informs the Fight Against Insect Invasion

More than 50,000 non-native plants, insects, and animals have been introduced to the U.S. Scientists estimate that 4,500 of them are arthropods. “Insect invasions are enabled by humans’ ever-expanding trade and travel networks,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist James Vogt. “Across the globe, invasive species are crossing borders at alarming rates.” In some states such…  More 

Forest Health Research and Education Center

Sometimes it seems as if the forests of the eastern U.S. are losing the battle with invasive insects and pathogens – emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, Asian longhorned beetles, gypsy moth, chestnut blight, sudden oak death, thousand cankers disease, laurel wilt – the list goes on and on. Scientists and land managers continue to…  More 

Where the Not-So-Mighty Chestnut Still Grows

A recent study by U.S. Forest Service, university, and state agency researchers provides baseline information on contemporary populations of American chestnut needed to support restoration of the tree to the forests it once dominated. Biologist Harmony Dalgleish from the College of William and Mary served as lead author on the research published in the journal…  More