Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Working Forests Work Video

A new educational video entitled "Working Forests Work" has just been completed and released. The project was spearheaded by the Keystone Wood Products Association and the PA Department of Agriculture's Hardwoods Development Council in collaboration with the Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group, the Northern Tier Hardwood Association, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee, and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association along with several other state agencies as well as industry associations. Feel free to share this video on your social media. Spread the word that Wood is Good, and our only renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable natural resource.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A Holistic Approach for Controlling Hemlock Woolly Adelgids

Hemlock Woolly Adelgids (Adelges tsugaeare an invasive insect that is causing widespread death and decline of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Scientists with the U.S. Forest Service have recently published a guide which synthesizes best management practices for controlling this destructive pest. The guide outlines a strategy using insecticides in combination with adelgid-eating insects. 

New Manager’s Guide for Controlling Hemlock Woolly Adelgids

Hope for the hemlocks

by Sarah Farmer, SRS Science Communications

Mature hemlock killed by HWA.
Photo by Dave Jackson

An Eastern hemlock can live for 800 years, anchoring ecosystems from its roots to its branches. But a bug that’s a speck by the eye can kill these giants in just a few

Foresters, entomologists, silviculturists, physiologists, and other experts have been working together to keep hemlock trees alive and reduce the impact of this devastating insect, the hemlock woolly adelgid.

A recent guide synthesizes years of research to provide best practices for controlling hemlock woolly adelgids. The guide is titled Integrating Chemical and Biological Control of theHemlock Woolly Adelgid: A Resource Manager’s Guide.

“The goal of the strategy is to prolong the health of some hemlock trees with insecticides, while, on other trees, establishing adelgid-eating insects,” says Bud Mayfield, USDA Forest Service researcher and lead author of the guide.

To read the rest of the article click here.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

October is firewood awareness month!

By Leigh Greenwood, The Nature Conservancy 

Each October, the Don’t Move Firewood campaign celebrates Firewood Month across the USA and Canada. In the warmer southern states, it’s the season for camping, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors after the heat of the summer has waned. In the cooler northern states and Canada, it’s a great time to think about stocking up on firewood for the winter ahead, planning for firewood needs during hunting season, and getting in those last crisp fall days of camping under the stars.

If you’re reading First Detector Report, you probably know that moving firewood long distances can spread invasive forest pests hidden in or on the wood. By focusing on this issue each October, the Don’t Move Firewood campaign works with many partners—like you!—to push outreach messages to the firewood using public. Both recreational firewood users (camping, RV’ers, hunters, and more), as well as folks that use firewood for home heating, need to know that their firewood choices matter—and they can help slow the spread of tree-killing pests.

The safest choices for firewood can vary according to where you plan to burn firewood, as well as where you live! Because of that, outreach specialists should list which of these safer choices work best for their region’s needs:

·         - Buy local firewood at or near where you’ll burn it.

·         - Buy certified heat-treated firewood when it is available.

·         - Gather firewood on site when permitted by the landowner or campground.

By working together, we all have the power to slow the spread of forest pests.Learn more about Firewood Month at

Target Pest Scouting Report

First Detector target pests are some of the most threatening plant pests and pathogens known to exist in the U.S. today. If you see symptoms or signs described here, use our reporting form to report.

In celebration of Firewood Month, we focus this scouting report on FD targets that are known to spread in or on firewood. Monitor the trees you care about for these signs and symptoms but remember—even if you do not see physical evidence of these pests in/on your firewood, they (or other invasive pests) can still be present. For this reason, always follow best firewood practices to minimize the spread of unwanted pests!

Lots of other nasty pests can be introduced to new locations through firewood, for a more comprehensive list visit the Don't Move Firewood invasive species page.

Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB)

On ALB host trees, monitor for adults, exit holes, and new (and/or old) oviposition sites. Egg sites vary in appearance depending on host and age. On cut branches or firewood, look for tunneling through the wood. ALB adults are large, measuring 1–1.5" in length. Photos and resources can be found at FD ALB page.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Woodpecker activity may indicate insect presence, but not all woodpecker activity means you have a problem. Trees highly infested with EAB often have woodpecker damage, known as blonding, which may be easier to notice than other EAB signs and symptoms such as EAB D-shaped exit holes and woodpecker damaged exit holes.  Removing bark may reveal serpentine galleries etched on surface of wood. Find state specific quarantine information and regulations about firewood at EAB Univ. firewood.

European Gypsy Moth (EGM)

EGM females lay eggs on just about anything—not just host plants! EGM eggs are covered with fuzzy, buff-colored hairs from the female's abdomen. Scrape EGM egg masses into a container of soapy water and dispose the next day. See FD EGM page for more info, photos, and partner links.

Spotted Lanternfly (SLF)

SLF adults are present in the landscape until there is a hard frost. Females deposit eggs in vertical rows and cover them with a shiny putty-like substance. Appearance of covering changes with time and will start to look like dry mud. Exposed eggs look like seeds. SLF lay eggs on just about any plant and outdoor object! Learn more at FD SLF.

Reprinted from First Detector Report, a newsletter on invasive plant pests and pathogens. Issue 6, Fall 2020.

Friday, October 2, 2020

How Carbon Stacks Up

Imagine the Opportunity of a Smaller Carbon Footprint


At the 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show the Hardwoods Development Council (HDC) hosted the Pennsylvania Hardwoods exhibit. The exhibit’s theme was Imagine the Opportunities of a Smaller Carbon Footprint. The exhibit was made possible by a collaboration between the HDC and the three Pennsylvania Hardwood Utilization Groups (HUGs): Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group, Keystone Wood Products Association, and the Northern Tier Hardwood Association.

The Hardwoods exhibit featured seven educational displays, all pertaining to how implementing sustainable forestry practices and the use of hardwood products can help reduce one’s carbon footprint. This is the fourth in a series of seven articles. These articles will provide information pertaining to each of the seven themes that were displayed. One article will be provided monthly.

Article 4: How Carbon Stacks Up

By Jonathan Geyer and Dave Jackson

Many people believe that after a forest is harvested the carbon sequestering capacity of that area is reduced. This is a narrow viewpoint and does not accurately depict how the forest carbon cycle works. When looking at the forest carbon cycle it is important to take a “broad” view. A broad view of the forest carbon cycle considers a larger geographical extent, a wider range of activities, and reflects a longer time scale.

When looking at the broad view we see a net decrease in carbon dioxide emissions through sustainable harvesting and the manufacturing of wood products. This is due in part to wood products storing carbon and a vigorously growing, young forests ability to sequester more carbon dioxide than an old growth forest. It is important to take a broad view of the carbon cycle to capture the net impacts of forest management activities (figure 1).

Figure 1: Sustainable forest management and the use of forest products increases carbon sequestration over time.

A major component of the forest carbon cycle is forest products. When a hardwood forest is sustainably harvested the wood in those trees are typically made into products such as furniture, flooring, and cabinetry. The carbon within those trees is usually stored in these products for many decades and possibly even centuries (figure 2).

Figure2: Wood products store carbon safely for many decades and possibly even centuries.

There are two types of forest products: long-lived forest products such as lumber for furniture and homes, which can store carbon for centuries, and short-lived forest products, like cardboard and paper, which may store carbon for only a few months or years. Even when short-lived forest products are disposed of, the carbon may still be captured in landfills for decades. The carbon stored in forest products is released only if the product is combusted or decomposes.

Figure 3 shows two antique wooden chairs, a live edge table, and a hardwood bicycle. These wood products are currently storing carbon and will continue to do so for many years. Using both long-lived and short-lived forest products helps to not only store carbon and reduce one’s carbon footprint, but also increases the demand for sustainably managed forests.

Figure 3: These wood products are currently storing carbon and will continue to do so for many years.

Another major component of the forest carbon cycle is wood product substitution. When wood products are chosen rather than using substitutes such as plastic, aluminum, concrete, etc. less carbon is emitted into the atmosphere and more carbon is sequestered (figure 4). Manufacturing of substitute faux wood products can emit up to 137X more carbon than using real wood. Wood is the greenest building material!

Figure 4: Choosing wood products over other substitutes helps reduce carbon emissions and increases carbon storage.
Trees store carbon from the atmosphere in their wood, a process called carbon sequestration. When that wood is turned into a product like a chair, table, or framing for a house, the carbon stored in the wood cannot be released to become carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. On the other hand, manufacturing goods from plastics, metals, concrete, and glass releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Using wood from sustainably managed forests is a good choice for the environment.