DNR: Forest Pest Awareness Week

Watch for tree-killing pests this week and through the end of the summer. You could help save Indiana’s forests. Citing the threat to Hoosier forests, Gov. Mike Pence has proclaimed the week of Aug. 14-20 as Forest Pest Awareness Week. The purpose is to put the state’s residents on high alert during a time when signs of such threats tend to appear. Indiana is one of several states teaming to educate citizens to identify and, more importantly, report suspected tree-killers in their communities. Emerald ash borer, which has claimed ash trees across the state and elsewhere, is just one example. Other forest pests may be on the way. Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is an invasive beetle from China that can kill 13 different kinds of native hardwood trees. The USDA is working with Ohio to eradicate it from Bethel, Ohio, which is 35 miles from the Indiana state line. This beetle likely entered the country in wood packing pallets. People can unknowingly transport the bug in their vehicles by moving firewood. Watch for a bug with an inch-long shiny black body with white spots, long black and white-striped antennae, and bluish feet. Maple, willow, elm, horse chestnut and birch trees are its favorite foods. Signs of ALB include pockmarks in the bark of large tree branches and trunks. The pockmarks may ooze dark-colored sap. Large, perfectly round (half-inch diameter) exit holes are another sign. Wood shavings may be seen in branch crotches or around the base of infested trees.

Tags: , , ,