The term forest health is commonly used to indicate the condition of a particular forest or stand and is in constant flux; after all, the nature of nature is change.
To get a feel for the complexities encountered when trying to define forest health, read Forest Health Conditions in Idaho (PDF), where forest health is defined as “a condition of forest ecosystems that sustains their complexity while providing for human needs.” Choose from the sections below to deepen your understanding and apply your newfound knowledge to your forestlands.
Monitoring Forest Health
Influences that affect forest or stand conditions are either biotic (insects, diseases, invasive plants, poor soil nutrition) or abiotic (adverse weather conditions, pesticide mismanagement).
- Are Your Streams Healthy? Stream Quality Survey for Managing Private Forest Ecosystems (SB 61)
- What’s Wrong with My Tree? (PDF)
- Natural Foliar Shedding (PDF)
- Colored Leaves and Needles Means Fall in Idaho (PDF)
- Can Forest Insect Pests be Managed? (PDF)
- Monitoring Tree Health on Private Woodlands (PDF)
- Plant Health Care Common Sense Forest Management (PDF)
- Rx for Good Forestry Decisions (PDF)
- Invasive Species (PDF)
- Stress Kills Trees Too! (PDF)
Forest Insects and Diseases
Forest insects and diseases are natural parts of forest environments. But when there is an outbreak or an introduced problem, losses can be extensive and expensive.
To begin, read What’s Wrong with My Tree? (PDF) to learn more about cause and effect, the diagnostic process and common control methods.
Articles and Publications
- Diplodia Tip Blight (CIS 946)
- Leaf Spot of Aspen and Poplar (CIS 1202)
- Slime Flux of Trees (CIS 1205)
- Dutch Elm Disease – An Old Disease in a New Place (PDF)
- Sudden Oak Death (PDF)
- Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut (PDF)
- White Pine Blister Rust Pruning Can Increase Survival (PDF)
Articles and Publications
- Field Guide to the Bark Beetles of Idaho and Adjacent Regions (SB 74)
- Management of White Pine Weevil in Spruce (CIS 1133)
- Bark Beetles and Firewood (PDF)
- Douglas-fir Bark Beetle and Secondary Mortality (PDF)
- Mountain Pine Beetle (PDF)
- The Pine Engraver (PDF)
- Douglas-fir Tussock Moth (PDF)
- Asian Gypsy Moth (PDF)
- Gypsy Moth Monitoring in Idaho (PDF)
- Balsam Woolly Adelgid (PDF)
- Western Spruce Budworm (PDF)
- Fact Sheet – Poplar Borer (PDF)
- The Case of the Deformed Trees (Eriophyid Mites) (PDF)
- Can Forest Insect Pests Be Managed? (PDF)
Forest Soils and Nutrition
Commonly overlooked, healthy soils are critical to the success of forestland environments. Explore the world of forest soils and nutrition and learn more about this often ignored, but crucial, component of our forest environments.
- Major Wood Decays in the Inland West (TXT 6)
- Good Rocks/Bad Rocks: The Latest Piece in the Puzzle of Natural Forest Fertility (PDF)
- Forest Soils vs. Agricultural Soils (PDF)
- Mycorrhizae: the Friendly Forest Fungi (PDF)
- Forest Ecosystems: Old Pines and Young Salmon (PDF)
- After the Fires: Hydrophobic Soils (PDF)
- Managing Organic Debris for Forest Health: Reconciling Fire Hazard, Bark Beetles, Wildlife, and Forest Nutrition Needs (PNW 609)
- Prevent Forest Soil Compaction – Designate Skid Trails (PDF)
- Bark Beetles, Slash and Forest Fertility (PDF)
- Healthy Forests Need a Good Diet (PDF)
- How Much Fertilizer in Slash? (PDF)
Identifying and Controlling Invasive Plants
You may not want them, but you got them. Invasive plants, usually referred to as weeds, are undesirable or troublesome plants that usually grow profusely where they are not wanted. Learn more about them by reading Invasive Species (PDF).
Refine your knowledge about individual invasive plants species, and how to control them, by choosing from the selections below.
- Idaho’s 67 Noxious Weeds. Idaho has 67 different species of weeds which are designated noxious by state law. These weeds are designated into three levels of concern. The spread of these weeds and the damage they do to Idaho agriculture can be lessened through proper identification and handling.
- Idaho State Department of Agriculture Noxious Weeds Program. ISDA is responsible for the administration of the State Noxious Weed Law. The State Weed Coordinator and the other program staff provide support, training and organizational assistance to the counties and Cooperative Weed Management Areas throughout the state.
- Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook. This handbook is designed as a quick and ready reference for weed control practices and herbicides used in various cropping systems or sites in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.