Forest Health General Information

What Is Forest Health? (N.C. Forest Service)
A healthy forest is a forest that possesses the ability to sustain the unique species composition and processes that exist within it.

What Threatens Forest Health? (N.C. Forest Service)
Forest health can be threatened by biotic and/or abiotic stress agents that cause a sustained disruption of the normal physiological or structural functioning of a tree.

Healthy Forests: Managing for Reslience (N.C. State Extension)
The southeastern United States has a highly variable climate that includes droughts, floods, tropical systems, thunderstorms, tornadoes, extreme heat, and extreme cold, which affect planted southern pine forests. Healthy forests are typically resistant to these kinds of disturbances and can tolerate a range of stressors without significant risk to their conditions.

Promoting a Healthy Forest on Your Land (Southern Regional Extension Forestry)
The health of your forest is important if you produce income from forestland or simply enjoy its beauty, wildlife and other amenities. Neglect (even if benign), unpredictable weather events, and insects and disease can hinder a forest’s ability to provide all the benefits that accrue from healthy forests.

North Carolina’s Emerging Forest Threats – Management Options for Healthy Forests (U.S. Forest Service)
The last decade has brought record droughts to North Carolina, increasing wildfires, expanding insect and plant invasions, and more intense hurricane and tornado events. Scientists predict increases in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns that can make these threats occur more often, with more intensity, and/or for longer durations. However, there are forest management strategies that can be used to decrease the risk from these threats.

North Carolina’s Current Forest Health Concerns (N.C. Forest Service)
Water stress is an ongoing concern in the state. While extreme drought is behind us for now, effects of previous drought or periods of abnormally dry conditions can last years. When trees are stressed, there are many opportunistic insects and diseases that attack them because they are less able to defend themselves.

N.C. Forest Service’s Forest Health Handbook (N.C. Forest Service)
This publication describes some of the most important and/or common forest insects and diseases that damage trees in North Carolina. It provides basic information on threats to forest health, guidance in diagnosing tree disorders and pest management recommendations

Thinning Practices to Improve Forest Health and Tree Vigor (Forestry Webinars)
Thinning is the process of selecting and removing some trees to improve the growth and vigor of the residual trees. The benefits of thinning are well documented, but selecting the correct trees can have a profound influence on the success of the thinning treatment.

Weather Variability and Its Impact on Forest Health (Forestry Webinar)
This webinar discusses the impact weather and climate have on forest health and productivity including short- and long-term impacts of droughts, floods, winds, and ice on insect and fungal populations and damage in southern forests.

Integrative Forest Management for Wildlife and Forest Health (Forestry Webinar)
This webinar will discuss strategies to increase wildlife populations and habitat while maintaining a productive, healthy forest stand.