Tennessee’s forest health management program seeks to minimize resource losses from forest insects, disease, vertebrate pests, or other sources impacting growth such as flooding and air pollution. It monitors and evaluates pest occurrences, promotes healthy forests through education and technical assistance and implements integrated pest management strategies on state forests, nurseries, and orchards.

Emerald Ash Borer Information for Homeowners
– Website provides most pertinent information on Emerald Ash Borer for homeowners and answers the most common questions about the insect and management options

Site Update

2013 TCD/EAB Conference Presentations - keep checking back as new recordings become available

Webinars added to Resources: Outreach Products page

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Community Plan Development presentation now available on HWA page


Deep freeze dents destructive invasive insect in Smokies (video)
If you are able to tolerate the cold temperatures, winter can be an incredible time of year to take a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visibility soars in the crystal clear air and there are hardly any bugs. That is, except the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid insect that has infested and killed millions of the mightiest trees in the eastern United States. "This time of year, the hemlock woolly adelgids are awake. They are feeding on the Hemlock needles during the winter time. They actually hibernate during the summer," said Jesse Webster, a forester who coordinates the GSMNP program to control the hemlock woolly adelgid. "You see what looks like snow on the underside of the hemlock branches on the needles. Each one of those little cotton balls is a female in that woolly mass sucking the carbohydrates out of the tree."

Increase in hemlock forest offsetting effect of invasive hemlock woolly adelgid for now
(Jan. 22, 2014) - Despite the accumulating destruction of a non-native invasive insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid, hemlock forests in the eastern United States appear to have held their own for now, according to new research by the U.S. Forest Service. The key word is "appear," said Talbot Trotter, the study's lead author and a research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Northern Research Station. In many regions, particularly in the southern Appalachians, the loss of hemlock to hemlock woolly adgid has been devastating. However, when Forest Service scientists used regional Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) data to get a big picture view of the status of hemlock in the eastern U.S., the results surprised them. "In analyzing FIA data from the 1950s through 2007, we expected to see a more pronounced impact on hemlock stands," according to Trotter. The data suggests that increasing tree density associated with the past century of reforestation and succession in the eastern U.S. may have offset the negative impacts of the adelgid at the regional scale.

Walnut Tree Quarantine in Morgan and Rhea Counties Due to Thousand Cankers Disease
(Nov. 6, 2013) - The Tennessee Department of Agriculture today announced the discovery of a walnut tree killing disease, Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), in Morgan and Rhea Counties. Walnut Twig Beetles, which transmit the disease causing fungus and the disease itself, have been found in both counties. The counties are now under quarantine. Citizens in these counties cannot move walnut tree products and hardwood firewood outside the quarantined counties.

Tennessee's fragile Cumberland Plateau ecosystem threatened by human interaction, scientists say
(Oct. 8, 2013) - Just west of Chattanooga, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation scientists are defending towering hemlock trees in coves along the Cumberland Plateau from a tiny, fuzzy white pest dubbed the hemlock woolly adelgid. The tiny insect, a type of aphid introduced into the East Coast of the United States from Asia in 1951, has been moving slowly westward from parts of the Great Smoky and Appalachian mountains that are closer to the coast. A similar infestation began along the West Coast in 1924.

Emerald Ash Borer Findings Continue to Spread
(Jul. 31, 2013) - Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that destroys ash trees, has been found in Jackson and Scott counties. The identification was made recently and has been confirmed by USDA. Both counties will now be placed under quarantine. Earlier this summer, Hamilton County was also placed under quarantine when EAB was found in trees near a rail hub in Chattanooga. “It appears the newly found infestations of Emerald Ash Borer probably originated through the movement of infested firewood used in camping,” Gray Haun, Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Plant Certification Administrator said. “Campers need to buy firewood locally where they are camping to avoid introduction of new pests to those areas.”

Emerald Ash Borer found in Hamilton County
(Jul. 1, 2013) - Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that destroys ash trees, has been found in Hamilton County. The identification was made recently and has been confirmed by USDA. The find in Hamilton County is of particular concern because it is not adjacent to the already quarantined areas in East Tennessee. At least a dozen trees adjacent to the rail lines in Chattanooga and an EAB trap located in a park near the rail hub tested positive for the insect.

Bringing back the butternut: Tenn. takes lead in saving tree species
(June 24, 2013) - Researchers believe that 80 percent to 90 percent of the South’s butternuts have been wiped out since the [butternut canker] disease arrived in this country almost 100 years ago. Today, universities and state and federal agencies across the Eastern U.S. are making a coordinated effort to save the butternut. Among the Southeastern states, Tennessee has taken a leading role in the research and development needed to produce disease-resistant, pure butternuts that can be planted in the forest and made available to private landowners.

The Nature Conservancy
  • Department of Agriculture  |  
  • Ellington Agricultural Center  |  
  • 440 Hogan Road  |  
  • Nashville, TN 37220  |  
  • (615) 837-5520  |  
  • Protect.TNForests@tn.gov