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

New edition of Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer available now from North Central IPM Center

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


Smokies officials propose restriction on firewood
(July 14, 2014) - Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are proposing a change aimed at protecting the national park. The park is proposing to place further restrictions on firewood brought into the Smokies. The proposal calls for campers to only be allowed to bring certified, heat-treated firewood into the park. Park spokesperson Dana Soehn said, "Unfortunately there are a lot of hitchhikers on firewood and some of these hitchhikers can cause great damage." Soehn explained some of the trees in the Smokies have already suffered significant damage from the invasive pests, causing widespread loss of the park's hemlock and chestnut trees.

Greene County Now Buffer Regulated for Thousand Cankers Disease
(June 24, 2014) - The Tennessee Department of Agriculture today announced the discovery of Walnut Twig Beetles, which transmit Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), a walnut tree killing disease, in Greene County. The county is now buffer regulated. Citizens in buffer counties can move walnut tree products and hardwood firewood within buffer counties, but not outside. Products can also be moved into a quarantine county, but not taken back out. In addition to Greene County, Bledsoe, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Hamblen, Hamilton, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Polk, Roane, Scott, and Sequatchie are also considered buffer regulated counties because the Walnut Twig Beetle was found or they are adjacent to a quarantined county. Bradley County is also in the buffer regulated category because it is surrounded by other buffer regulated counties. “We will continue to survey for the Walnut Twig Beetle and Thousand Cankers Disease to help slow the spread of the disease,” said TDA Plant Certification administrator Gray Haun. “We are working with stakeholders to help educate citizens on the symptoms of TCD and how they can help.”

Putnam County and Five Additional East Tennessee Counties Quarantined for Emerald Ash Borer
A quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that destroys ash trees has been expanded to include another Middle Tennessee county and five more northeastern Tennessee counties. Putnam, Sullivan, Washington, Unicoi, Carter and Johnson counties have been added to the list of areas restricted for the movement of ash trees and ash tree products. This brings the total number of Tennessee counties under a state and federal EAB quarantine to 27. Over the past three years, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture have regulated only the counties where at least one EAB specimen was detected. EAB has been found in Putnam County, but because small EAB populations can sometimes go undetected, TDA is taking the precautionary measure of expanding the EAB quarantine to the five northeastern counties without a positive detection. “Because EAB has been found in all the East Tennessee areas surrounding these counties there is a high likelihood that it is there as well, but has so far, gone undetected,” Gray Haun, TDA’s Plant Certification administrator said. “We feel it is in the best interest of the state to go ahead and quarantine these locations.”

Hemlocks flourish after polar vortex kills adelgid (video)
he old saying "April showers bring May flowers" held true this year as wild blooms once again flourish in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But it was the winter's deep freeze that put fresh green on the trees. Specifically, the polar vortex during this year's wicked winter helped wipe out a destructive insect that feasts on hemlock trees. "You see a lot of growth this year on the hemlock trees. They're covered in the new bright green terminals," said Jesse Webster, coordinator of the GSMNP program to control the hemlock woolly adelgid. "We had plenty of rain last year, the winter killed the adelgids, and that equals healthy hemlocks."

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.

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