Prepare for invasive forest insects and diseases webinar

Prepare for invasive forest insects and diseases webinar


As time progresses after an invasive species
is detected, control costs increase and eradication becomes less likely. What can communities do to prepare for invasive
forest insects and diseases? We are recommending that time be spend now to develop and implement an invasive species management strategy before the pests are introduced
and established in your community. Having this strategy in place before the introduction
of an invasive species can reduce the community’s financial costs to manage invasive pests;
reduce losses to the community’s tree canopy; and reduce the harm, that is the result of
tree loss, to people, property, the economy and the environment. In implementing an invasive species management
strategy, there is a better chance to maintain a community’s forest health, safety and
benefits as well as maintain and enhance community confidence in your elected officials, city staff
and programs. There are recommended steps a community can
take when developing their strategy. I will spend the rest of my time with you
briefly going through each of them. Please adapt the following to what works best
in your community. One of the first steps to take is to familiarize
yourself and your staff with invasive species. Receive training on what invasive species
are, what they look like, what signs & symptoms to watch for, and what the effected trees
look like. The Oregon Forest Pest Detector website is
a great place to start this training. Form an invasive species management team. Assemble a team of individuals that can contribute
to preparing for invasive species, and ideally can also assist with response and recovery. This could include individuals from state
and federal agencies, various city departments, the city tree board, and companies that contract
tree services and pesticide applications. Whomever has been designated as your community’s
tree care manager should coordinate and lead the team. Communities that do not have a forester or
arborist on staff should designate an existing staff member as the tree care manager, or
hire a consulting forester or arborist to fill this role. The designated tree care manager preferably
will have technical expertise, field experience and knowledge in community forest management,
tree risk management and assessment, tree maintenance standards and best management practices, and ideally should be an ISA Certified Arborist. Inform your mayor and other local decision
makers about the threat. City leaders need to understand the threat
and the importance of thorough preparation. They will appreciate hearing about it, before
there is any crisis! Consider beginning the conversation by showing
them one of the short videos that are available on the OR Forest Pest Detector website or
even the documentary film, Trees in Trouble: Saving America’s Urban Forests. Review the city’s tree ordinance. A tree ordinance is a tool to help protect
and manage a community’s trees. It can be designed to regulate various aspects
of tree planting, removal, and maintenance on public and private property within a municipality. Communities will want to review their tree
ordinance to ensure it states what authority the city has regarding diseased or infested
trees on private property as well as who is responsible for their treatment or removal. All property owners should be informed of
their duty to treat or remove nuisance trees, as well as what the city may do if they fail
to act. Communities will have to determine a trigger
point at which infested trees must be removed and the wood properly disposed. This is important because trees on private
property can become a public safety hazard. You may find that the ordinance contains language
specific to Dutch elm disease or has nuisance provisions. It is best if it is written broadly enough,
so you don’t have to revise your ordinance every time a significant new pest comes along. Diseases such as Thousand Cankers Disease
and insects such as emerald ash borer know no boundaries and can decimate a city’s
urban forest if prompt action is not taken. Determine your risk. Conducting a tree inventory is an important
first step in invasive species response planning. To estimate the local impact and to develop
an invasive species management strategy, you need to know how many trees you have, what
species they are, where they’re at, how big they are, and what condition they are in. If you have a current tree inventory, use
it to list and locate effected trees. If your community does not have a tree inventory,
a rapid assessment of public and possibly private property can be done to estimate the
number and location of effected trees. One way to do a rapid assessment, or sometimes it’s called a windshield assessment, is to utilize Google Streetview to tally the number of street trees and the
number of the specific tree species, such as ash, you are assessing. With this data, you can quickly determine
the approximate number of community street trees and the % of these that are the tree
species of concern. Emerald ash borer has had a devastating effect on tree canopies in many towns The map shown here is of the Town of Oakville
in Ontario Canada. Emerald Ash Borer has had a devastating effect
on their tree canopy. The town is treating a portion of the public
ash tree’s on streets and in parks to protect against the invasive insect’s damaging effects, and is removing dead and dying ash trees and replacing them with different species. The colored dots show where city-owned street
and park trees exist, where trees are scheduled for removal, where trees have been removed,
or is a site where a tree will be planted. There are also colored dots to show where
treated trees, both private and public, are located. Determine your management strategy and estimate costs. Use your inventory data and cost/benefit analysis
to make treatment, removal & replacement decisions. EAB Cost calculator allows
users to enter tree inventory data, compare local costs of treatment options or tree removal and print reports. These reports can be used to communicate cost
information to your local elected officials and other decision makers. The goal is to keep the rate of mortality
low by holding the pest population at low levels. The most cost effective and environmentally
sound approach is an integrated strategy that combines monitoring trees for the early presence
of a pest; removing and replacing unhealthy trees before they die; treating high-value
trees with the proper use of insecticides; and planting different species of trees nearby
in an effort to get them established before the arrival of a pest. Specific to EAB, current science supports
conservation via treatment as a sensible and effective tool for managing healthy ash trees
in urban settings. In many cases, tree conservation via treatment
is economically and environmentally superior to tree removal. Consider planting vacant sites to partially
offset tree canopy loss in the future. New trees will have more time to grow and
start providing benefits. But carefully choose the tree species to plant! Don’t set the stage for another catastrophic
loss by planting too many of any one kind of tree! There is a rule of thumb, and it’s to have no more than
2% of a species, and 5% of a genus. As with any investment, manage risk by diversifying. Develop a new tree species list, including
connecting with nurseries to see what is available. As for EAB, if your inventory data reports
a large percentage of the city’s trees are ash, the city may want to stop the planting
of Fraxinus sp. and consider removing any young/small ash trees and replacing them with
a different tree species. Assess your budget. If funds won’t cover treatment, removal,
or replacement costs, begin seeking budget increases, alternative funding mechanisms
and/or also partnerships. Remember, as mentioned briefly in the previous
slide, urban ash conservation can be less costly than removal, especially when the significant
environmental and economic benefits of established trees are considered. Also, ash conservation can reduce environmental
impacts caused by extensive deforestation of the urban landscape, as well as the documented
public safety risks associated with standing dead ash trees and their removal. Make a public awareness plan. This includes a list of media contacts, messages,
and strategies. An example message to residents might be:
Invasive species are not in charge! Your city is taking a proactive response to
pests, reducing losses and making tax dollars go further! Another message could be: Transporting firewood
can potentially lead to new infestations of invasive insects and diseases. Do not move firewood. Buy firewood where you burn it. The Neighbors Against Bad Bugs website (listed
on the emerald ash borer website) has some great ideas on strategies. For example, tag city-owned ash trees for
residents and decision makers so they can see the trees that will be impacted by EAB. Determine how to manage wood residue, before
a pest is introduced and trees start dying! Make decisions regarding contract management,
staff training, and scheduling equipment rental or purchase and equipment maintenance, as
well as wood and brush storage, utilization or disposal. Mapping the location of wood residue processing/staging sites and investigating wood utilization options are important for invasive species preparedness
and response. Also, become familiar with regulations on
wood residue as quarantines may restrict its movement. Remember, a community needs to be prepared
to act quickly due to wood being infested (this is not just your typical winter storm
debris issue!). Once an invasive species becomes established,
tree mortality across the community may occur at the same time! And an infestation of these pests can produces
a lot of wood residue. Pre-select qualified tree care companies. Develop working relationships with companies
now. The best time to arrange contracts for tree
pruning and removal is before any emergency situation occurs, not just invasive species
infestations! All communities should be prepared to manage
any disease or invasive insect that threatens their urban forest resource. The reality is that once a pest like emerald
ash borer is established, Oregon communities will quite possibly have to deal with tough
economic, environmental, legal and social decisions. Planning in advance allows your community
to be better prepared to minimize the severity of these impacts and establish a solid foundation
for recovery. Thanks for listening!

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