Alaska Forest Health Observations's Journal

July 21, 2021

Western Blackheaded Budworm Outbreak in Southeast AK

There is a western blackhead budworm outbreak happening in parts of SE Alaska. The caterpillars feed on new hemlock growth causing reddish tips and an abundance of caterpillar Pile of poo raining down from above, littering the plants below. #AlaskaForestHealth https://bit.ly/2Ucg87W

Posted on July 21, 2021 16:22 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 13, 2020

Zombie Virus (Baculoviridae)

Did you know that caterpillars can become zombies- even when it’s not Spooky Season? Caterpillars can suffer from a “zombie virus” (Baculoviridae) that forces them to climb, like zombies, to the tops of branches as they liquefy from the inside out! #AlaskaForestHealth
Posted on November 13, 2020 23:28 by interiorskb interiorskb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 16, 2020

Humongous Fungus - Honey Mushrooms!

Honey mushrooms from the fungus Armillaria can emerge in clumps from the trees and roots they infect. Some large genetically-related clumps have been named the "Humongous Fungus," considered among the largest living organisms on earth! #AlaskaForestHealth
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r10/forest-grasslandhealth/?cid=FSEPRD608223&width=full

Posted on October 16, 2020 16:01 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 15, 2020

Spruce aphids -- Elatobium abietinum

Most forest creatures are winding down for winter, but spruce aphids are just getting started! Forest Health Protection surveyed for this invasive insect which is found thru-out SE Alaska & parts of the Kenai Peninsula. #alaskaforesthealth https://bit.ly/3iQtPzu

Posted on October 15, 2020 22:01 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Sirococcus Shoot Blight on Hemlock

While not everyone enjoyed the rainy summer in SE Alaska, the fungus that kills hemlock shoots certainly did! Look for it and you shall see it! Learn more about this disease of western and mountain hemlocks at https://bit.ly/33Vgr97 #AlaskaForestHealth #SirococcusShootBlight

Posted on October 15, 2020 21:59 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 29, 2020

Spruce beetle -- time to process your firewood!

With cooler temperatures approaching, it's time to start processing your dead spruce into firewood. Processing recently killed & attacked trees now can reduce the spread of spruce beetles to new trees next spring. Visit http://alaskasprucebeetle.org for more info! #AlaskaForestHealth

Posted on September 29, 2020 15:41 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 16, 2020

Foliar tar spot fungus (Rhytisma arbuti) on rusty menziesia

Have you seen black spots on false azalea/rusty menziesia? Plentiful rain in SE Alaska has led to an abundance of the foliar tar spot fungus (Rhytisma arbuti). It doesn’t do much damage since it occurs after seedset. For more information visit: ow.ly/dUma50BnyTq

Posted on September 16, 2020 15:49 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Spruce beetle update (Dendroctonus rufipennis)

The Mat-Su region continues to experience extensive spruce tree mortality due to a spruce beetle outbreak. #AKForestHealth scientists from Anchorage & Fairbanks visited the region to view the area & discuss the health of the forests. For more information, visit alaskasprucebeetle.org

Posted on September 16, 2020 15:37 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Rusty Tussock Moth (Orgyia antiqua)

Rusty tussock moth caterpillars feed on understory trees and shrubs throughout AK. The males have been flying in great numbers near Talkeetna and Hatcher Pass (the females are flightless). If you notice these critters, post your observation to iNaturalist!

Posted on September 16, 2020 15:33 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 14, 2020

Petiole galls on Balsam poplar/cottonwood

Galls formed at the base of balsam poplar leaves can be found throughout the state. Within these galls can be found numerous aphids of the Pemphigus genus. They lack the cornicles (terminal abdominal tubules) characteristic of other aphids. When eggs hatch in the spring, these aphids begin feeding on leaf petioles which induces the production of galls that envelopes and protects the developing aphids. As they mature, winged aphid forms will emerge from these galls. While we wait for genetic identification of the species in Alaska, similar species in North America will leave their galls and colonize a different host mid-summer, where they will continue to feed and reproduce throughout the season. By the end of the season, females will return to Populus spp. trees and lay a single egg that will overwinter and emerge in the spring. You can help the Forest Health Protection better understand the range of these aphids by uploading your observations and pictures of these galls to iNaturalist.

Post created by @DanaBrennan

Posted on August 14, 2020 16:01 by awenninger awenninger | 0 comments | Leave a comment