Since September, I have been awakened from a dead sleep countless times by an obnoxious buzzing in my ear and, even more unsettling, the feeling that something is crawling on top of my head. Although groggy, I usually realize pretty quickly that it’s just a stink bug, grab it, and toss it across the room. … Continue reading Are Those “Stink Bugs” in Your Home?
Throughout the western United States, including Washington state, the health of our forests has been in decline for several decades. This means that our forests are less able to provide ecological functions, less sustainable, less resilient, less able to meet land manager objectives and less resistant to invasive species, insects, diseases and fire. How We … Continue reading Achieving Healthy Eastern Washington Forests within 20 Years
Recently, I have begun to observe damage to ornamental blue spruce throughout the area of Colville, Washington. Upon closer inspection of these trees, I found that they are being defoliated by the Douglas-fir tussock moth. The Douglas-fir tussock moth is a native defoliator of Douglas-fir, true firs (such as grand fir) and spruce. For reasons … Continue reading Blue Spruce Damage Indicates Elevated Risk of Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Outbreak
The following article was originally published in DNR's "Forest Stewardship Notes" to encourage small forest landowners to consider techniques that provide wildlife habitat and restore ecosystems, however the same principles apply in urban landscapes. It is worth noting that habitat logs can also serve a valuable purpose for absorbing and retaining stormwater runoff. The forest … Continue reading Habitat Logs: How to Help the Creepy Crawlies on the Forest Floor
The western pine beetle (WPB), Dendroctonus brevicomis, is a native bark beetle found in eastern Washington that can kill ponderosa pine, its only host in the state. In typical years, low populations of WPB attack trees that are old and decadent, weakened, or plagued by root diseases such as armillaria. But, when trees experience severe … Continue reading Ponderosa Pines Killed by Western Pine Beetle on the Rise
The Washington Invasive Species Council and a consortium of agencies and universities are asking residents to check trees and swimming pools in their yards for harmful bugs as part of the national Tree Check Month in August. August is the peak time of year to find invasive bugs like citrus longhorned beetles, emerald ash borers … Continue reading State Asks You to Check Trees for Invasive Pests in August
Although it is difficult not to think of fire from a destructive point of view, it is in fact a natural process of renewal, and a catalyst for promoting biological diversity and healthy ecosystems. Some plant species are actually adapted to fire. For instance, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) have serotinous cones (seeds are … Continue reading Fire and Forest Health