Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Exotic Insect Pest Found In Pennsylvania: Spotted Lanternfly

Adult Spotted Lanternfly

By now, many of you have heard that an exotic invasive insect known as the Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) has been discovered for the first time in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania.The Spotted Lanternfly is a planthopper native to Asia, specifically found in China, Korea, India, Vietnam, and parts of eastern Asia.

The first stage (3) is black with white spots and wingless. As it grows, it starts to develop red patches (4) in addition to the white spots.
Potential Impacts:

This potential pest has a wide host range and could threaten trees and woody ornamentals, causing economic loss to the green industry and damage to home landscapes. In the U.S. it has the potential to greatly impact the grape, fruit tree and logging industries. In Pennsylvania, this pest poses a significant threat to the state’s more than $20.5 million grape, nearly $134 million apple, and more than $24 million stone fruit industries. The lanternfly attacks many hosts besides grapes, apples, and stone fruits however. It has been found on more than 70 additional tree species. Pine and hardwood logging in Pennsylvania accounts for $12 billion in sales.

The only good news that I can find in this outbreak is that in the fall, adults switch hosts to focus on Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), which is an introduced invasive tree. It appears to be the preferred host that the adults feed on in the fall and is used preferentially for egg laying. However, Tree of Heaven is not the only tree or surface the Spotted Lanternfly will lay eggs upon – any smooth trunked tree, stone or vertical smooth surface can provide a potential host for egg masses. 

Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses
It lays egg masses of 30-50 eggs wherever there's a flat surface -- meaning that many home items easily transported can pack this pest and help it spread quickly. On Nov. 1, 2014, the Commonwealth announced a quarantine with the intent to restrict the movement of this pest in the affected areas in Berks County.

A general quarantine over any area found to harbor the Spotted Lanternfly means that any material or object that can spread the pest cannot be moved. Experts are still learning about this threat to agriculture in Pennsylvania and the United States and how to combat it.

About the Quarantine:


  • Berks (District, Hereford, Pike, Rockland and Washington townships; including Bally and Bechtelsville)
  • Earl Township added November 21, 2014.

Regulated Articles and Limitations Imposed by the General Quarantine

  • Any living life stage of the Spotted Lanternfly.
  • Brush, debris, bark, or yard waste.
  • Landscaping, remodeling or construction waste.
  • Logs, stumps or any tree parts.
  • Firewood of any species.
  • Packing materials like wood crates
  • All plants and plant parts.
  • Outdoor household articles like RVs, lawn mowers, chairs, grills, tarps, tile, stone, deck boards, and trucks or other vehicles not stored indoors.

You can move these and similar items if:

  • You have a valid certificate or limited permit that shows that the item has been inspected and determined free of Spotted Lanternfly.
  • You have entered a compliance agreement that shows you have the understanding to identify the pest and can ensure the items you transport aren't carrying it.
  • You are driving through the quarantined area and are transporting your item in a way that makes it unlikely to harbor the pest as you pass through.
  • You complete a certification checklist.
To download the quarantine order click here.

Penn State Extension is working with PDA on a coordinated response to study, contain, manage and possibly eradicate this infestation. County Extension offices have been listed as one resource for receiving information about spotted lanternfly and for submitting samples for identification.

Anyone submitting samples should follow the instructions in the fact sheet mentioned above and fill out the PDA submission form (linked at the bottom of the fact sheet).

Friday, November 14, 2014

How best to help Pennsylvania’s woods?

One of our very own Pennsylvania Forest Stewards, Nancy Baker, was interviewed by State Impact NPR recently. They wrote a very interesting story that I wanted to share with my readers. Nancy is a forest landowner in northeastern Pennsylvania in Bradford County. She is active in many forestry based organizations including the PA Forest Stewardship Volunteers and the Pennsylvania Forestry Association.

Changing climate changing forests: How best to help Pennsylvania’s woods
November 7, 2014
By Susan Phillips

In a 19th-century farmhouse deep in northern Pennsylvania’s Bradford County, Nancy Baker is looking at family photos dating back four generations.One shows her grandfather with a team of horses on clear cut land. Another shows her mother and aunt on the same farm as a small child. Baker also has a series of aerial photos going back to 1939, which show how the forest cover has evolved in the past 70 years.

Her home was built by her great grandfather, Joseph Morrow Gamble, a Scots-Irish immigrant who cut timber from the virgin forest and shipped it down the Susquehanna River. The story of how Baker’s family used its land to make a living was replayed up and down the East Coast after European settlers arrived. Her great grandfather cut down woods for timber. Then he turned to farming, yanking rocks from the stony soil to mark out cow pastures. His children inherited the land. But in the 20th century, their children left for better jobs in town. Baker’s own parents became teachers.

With the land left to itself, the forests returned. So Baker grew up playing in the woods and learning how to fell a tree ambidextrously with an axe.
“When we inherited this land from my mother I said, ‘OK, it’s our turn to steward the land,’” said Baker. “But how are we going to do this?”

To read the rest of the story click here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Does Going Paperless Really Save Trees?

So what do you think about this statement? Save Paper. Save Trees. Save the World. 
Print Media Centr

If any of you have received an email form me and read my bye line you know exactly how I feel on this subject.  It states:
Notice:  It is OK to print this e-mail.  Paper is a renewable product made from trees.  Growing and harvesting trees provides family-supporting jobs for millions of men and women.  Working forests are good for the environment providing wood products, wildlife habitat, clean water, and carbon storage.

So, when I saw this article in the Society of American Foresters e-news I wanted to share it with my readers. I have felt strongly that the wise use of our forest resource is what is going to save them, it is what is going to keep forests working as forests. When forest owners have markets for the products they produce, owners are less likely to sell and/or subdivide. When markets are good, forest land is more likely to stay as forests providing all the benefits they provide including; wood products, wildlife habitat, clean water, and carbon sequestration. Without strong local markets there is little incentive for owners to maintain their forest land and often times it ends up getting sold, developed and otherwise converted to non-forest use.

Another fact to keep in mind is that we are still going to be using paper and other forest products, that demand is going to continue.  Would we rather see those products harvested from well managed and often times certified "sustainable" local forests or from foreign 3rd world countries with no regulations or management based on science? It is also important to keep in mind energy inputs.  One that comes to mind is when I see electric hand dryers in restrooms claiming they are eco-friendly by NOT using paper towels to dry your hands.  Are they really?  Where is the energy source coming from to create that electricity?  Hmm...interesting. Does going paperless really save trees? Be sure to read the bulleted points below. In reality, there is a place for both paper and e-media.

Thirty Leading North American Companies Remove "Go Paperless – Save Trees” Claims
by: Phil Riebel 11/03/2014
CHICAGO (November 3, 2014) - Today, Two Sides North America, Inc. announced that over 30 leading North American companies have committed to remove “anti-paper” based claims being used to promote electronic billing and other e-services as more environmentally-friendly. The Two Sides campaign is engaged with top Fortune 500 organizations in the banking, utilities and telecommunications sectors as well as digital service companies.  Alan Anglyn, Sprint’s Director of IT Care & Billing Services Business Management notes, “One of the benefits of our relationship with Two Sides has been the opportunity to reflect on how we communicate our efforts.  This caused us to review Sprint’s messaging about electronic media across multiple touch points.”

“Many in the graphic communications industry, from family forest owners to paper mills, printers, mailers and related businesses, are tired of seeing misleading environmental claims about print and paper.  Our campaign has been focused on educating corporate marketers on the unique social and environmental benefits of print and paper, and to ensure that claims used to promote e-services are based on credible science and facts,” states Two Sides North America President Phil Riebel.
Two Sides’ main reasons for challenging “Go Paperless – Save Trees” claims are:
  • They do not meet guidelines for environmental marketing established by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Competition Bureau of Canada.
  • They are damaging to the North American economy and threaten jobs.   In the U.S. alone, a total of 8.4 million jobs that generate $1.3 trillion in sales revenue depend on the U.S. mailing industry, which includes paper production, printing production, related suppliers, graphic design and the handling and distribution of mail (Envelope Manufacturers Association, 2013).
  • The income landowners receive for trees grown on their land is an important incentive to maintain, sustainably manage and renew this valuable resource. If the market for their wood products is lost, there is little incentive for owners to maintain their forest land (which is then sold to developers and converted to non-forest use).  
  • Print on paper originates from a renewable resource – trees grown in responsibly managed North American forests, is recyclable, and is the most recycled commodity with recovery rates of 63% or higher (American Forest & Paper Association, 2014). 
  • In North America, we grow more trees than we harvest.  Over the last six decades, total net U.S. forest area has increased by over 3% and the net volume of trees on timberland has increased by 58% (U.S. Forest Service, 2012).  In Canada, the forest cover has remained stable over the last two decades and harvest has been 44% of annual growth (Conference Board of Canada, 2014).
  • The environmental and social impacts of switching from paper to e-media are not properly or adequately considered - and they are far from negligible.  The trade‐off between the two platforms depends on conditions such as use frequency, source of energy, and end‐of‐life management of the products (P. Arnfalk, 2010).
  • Consumer surveys found that 50% or more of U.S. respondents don’t believe, feel misled or question “Go Paperless – Save Trees” claims, and that over 80% agreed that e-billing and e-statements are being promoted to save costs (Toluna and Two Sides, 2013).
 To read the rest of the story click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2014 Tax Tips for Forest Landowners Released

Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service has released her 2014 Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2014 Tax Year.  This is a very helpful quick sheet that is produced annually.  Clear examples are provided for such things as timber property, basis, sales, and management expenses as well as reforestation expenses, cost-share payments, and timber casualty and theft losses.  For all your timber taxation questions go to the National Timber Tax Website located at

Tax laws on timber transactions are very specialized knowledge that are not commonly known. Yet they are important to timber owners in terms of the ongoing cost of owning and managing timber, forest stewardship and compliance to the tax law. This bulletin reviews the major federal income tax laws to help forest owners in filing their 2014 income tax returns. The information presented here is current as of September 30, 2014.

For the full tip sheet click here.