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Trees, Pests & People

The Emerald ash borer is wreaking havoc on Ash trees.

At The Nature Conservancy, we're working year-round to raise awareness of invasive insects and diseases that are destroying street trees and forests.

In our latest effort, we turned to the silver screen. "Trees, Pests & People" is a new documentary about three kinds of trees: Walnut, Avocado, and Ash.

These trees are united by the threat of invasive insects and diseases—forest pests from other countries that are killing trees across the country. For the Missouri black walnuts, the threat of thousand cankers disease looms from a distance. For Florida’s avocados, each passing day increases the chance that another tree will be found with the deadly laurel wilt fungus. And for the ash trees of Baltimore, the scourge of the emerald ash borer is already a major battle.

We produced "Trees, Pests and People" to tell the story of how these pests affect people’s everyday lives, and how we can all help to protect our trees and forests. We invite you to watch the film! You can view it online, or email us to request a copy of the DVD.

Do your part this fall and winter

There are two easy ways you can protect trees from pests: First, don't move firewood. Instead, buy firewood near the location where you will burn it.

Tree-killing insects and diseases can lurk in firewood. You may not have realized it, but when people move firewood these tree-killers can hitch a ride hundreds of miles more than they can move on their own. New infestations destroy our forests and property values, and cost huge sums of money to control. 

Next, observe the trees around you, and keep an eye out for unusual insects and unhealthy trees. You can make a difference by reporting any potentially new or worrisome tree symptoms or pests to an arborist, county extension officer, or other plant health professional. The problem could be harmless, but it also could be a critical find of a new invasive forest pest infestation. Learn more. 

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