Our mission: To provide the basic biological and ecological knowledge and innovative management strategies required for management and control of native and non-native insect pests, disease pathogens and invasive plants in changing forest ecosystems.

Welcome to the Southern Research Station’s Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants Research Work Unit website. Our mission is to provide the basic biological and ecological knowledge and innovative management strategies required for management and control of native and non-native insect pests, disease pathogens and invasive plants in changing forest ecosystems. Learn more about us →

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Newsletter
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Latest issue of Southern Forest Health Newsletter: Summer 2019

In this issue: SPB outbreak waning in Mississippi, Investigating understory plant species turnover, Laurel wilt in KY and TN, Fighting the laurel wilt fungus with fungus, Autotoxicity research, and more.

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News & Events

New Seed Orchards Installed with Camcore

Andy Whittier has collected hundreds of thousands of seeds during his 17 years with Camcore and the USDA Forest Service. Whittier regularly tests seed germination rates in order to evaluate their quality. That’s how he ended up with 1,200 Eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) in a greenhouse in Waynesville, North Carolina.


Hemlock Restoration 2.0

Our newest hemlock experiment is in the ground! We are looking at how various light levels in a forest stand affect hemlock seedlings and the woolly adelgid. In order to investigate these questions we planted hemlocks along a north-south transect in forest gaps and a control group under forest canopy. The gaps were created as part of a previously implemented silviculture experiment that involved group selection harvests in a method termed “femelschlag” that mimics natural forest disturbance patterns.


Countering Thousand Cankers Disease

In recent decades, thousand cankers disease has become a concern for walnut growers and hardwood forest managers in the United States. A variety of measures have been investigated or developed to counter the disease. A study led by USDA Forest Service research entomologist Albert Mayfield and former University of Tennessee graduate student Jackson Audley looked at one measure: quarantine treatments.

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