Stressors of Forest Trees - Managing for Forest Productivity

Stress is a common and normal component of trees in forests and sugarbushes.  Stress can be classified by a number of factors, including duration, extent, severity, source, and the context of the tree.  By understanding the stress agents that trees must contend with, owners and managers can anticipate the problem, help forests develop in ways that the likelihood of stress is reduced, reduce the impact of the stress on the trees and ensure that recovery from stress is a thorough and productive as possible. 

The picture below shows fusarium fungus on sugar maple.  This fungus is associated with overstocked sugar maple on drought prone sites.  In agriculture Fusarium is apparently a soil-borne pathogen.  The fungus is reported to be contagious, and infected trees should be cut and removed from the stand.

A webinar, by yours truly, on December 19, 2012 was titled "Stressors of Trees: Forest Management for Health and Productivity."  This was the first use of the new Webex conferencing software.  Some participants had problems, but in general the system worked well. 

The noon webinar can be seen here.

The evening webinar can be seen here.

Two files were made available during the webinar.  One was on forest management resources within the context of climate change.  Climate change predictions are aptly described as stresses, so the actions suggested for this context is consistent with recommendations in general for managing the face of stress.  Here is a link to that publication (7MB).

Another publication is on the role of silviculture in maintaining the health and productivity of forests with the expectation of emerald ash borer, Asian long-horned beetle, and hemlock woolly adelgid.  This fact sheet was written by Dr. Ralph Nyland of SUNY ESF for the ForestConnect fact sheet series. The full series is here.  This fact sheet is attached.silviculture_invasive_insect_Nyland_ForestConnect.pdf

In summary, understand the stressors that affect your forest trees.  Know how your forest is growing.  Anticipate problems and plan for prevention or solutions.  Avoid interactions of stressors. When working in the woods, be safe.

Some assorted "good" pictures, if you like this sort of thing.

An illustration of the distribution of stain in a sugar maple sapling damaged by a falling object.  Note the stain decreases in extent in a relatively short distance from the wound.  Sugar maple is an example of species that has a well developed compartmentalization of decay.

Below, an oldie but goodie, Armillaria root rot, shoe string fungus.  Common as a secondary pathogen, but can be a primary parasite as well.

Below, stand level foliar dieback associated with a late spring frost in 2010 that occurred through central and eastern NY.  Email me for a picture of tree crowns in this area, which is also a bit droughty for this site and had forest tent caterpillar and gypsy moth in about 2007.  A "nice" confluence of interacting stressors. (I have maxed out the file storage for this blog)

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