Insects / Diseases / Invasives / Miscellaneous / Forest Pest Coop
The Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) employs a staff of professional forest pest and forest health specialists who provide assistance and solutions to forest and urban tree pest problems.
Forest Health (formerly called Forest Pest Management) was established in 1962 as the Forest Pest Control Section to deal with an increasing southern pine beetle problem in Southeast Texas. The southern pine beetle is the most destructive forest insect pest in the southern United States.
Over the years, Forest Health’s responsibilities have expanded beyond southern pine beetle to include survey, evaluation, applied research and technology transfer on all major forest health problems in the state. The department deals with exotic invasive plants, insects and diseases that could threaten the state’s forest resources. TFS Forest Health specialists and field foresters are a preferred source of information, not only on insects and diseases, but on all forest health and environmental issues that affect growth and survival of trees and forests throughout Texas.
Many of the forest pest problems that are dealt with occur in the commercial forests of the East Texas Piney Woods. These include pine bark beetles, regeneration weevils, hardwood diseases, and invasive plants. Forest Health personnel also address a myriad of pest issues in Central and West Texas that affect rural woodlands and urban trees. Since 1988, with funding from the USDA Forest Service, TFS forest health specialists have administered a cooperative project in Central Texas to suppress oak wilt, a tree disease that kills live oaks and other oaks in over 70 counties.
In 1996, Forest Health initiated the Western Gulf Forest Pest Management Cooperative — now called the Forest Pest Management Cooperative — to provide leadership and guidance to the forest industry and other large private landowners on forest pest issues. Membership dues support research and technology transfer efforts aimed at solving pest problems of mutual concern such as seed orchard insects, pine regeneration pests, pine bark beetles, and other forest health issues affecting urban and commercial forests.
Forest Health has four professional forest entomologists or forest health specialists — two in Lufkin, one in Austin, and one in College Station — as well as an experienced support staff. A cadre of TFS foresters and resource specialists with experience in tree and woodland pest problems is located throughout East and Central Texas and in major cities across the state to assist private landowners.
Just remember: When forest, tree or pest problems arise, help is readily available from Forest Health specialists and field foresters. Feel free to bug them!
Forest Health specialists can be contacted... in Lufkin at (936) 639-8170, Longview at (903) 297-5094, College Station at (979) 458-6650, Austin at (512) 339-4589 or through any local Texas A&M Forest Service field office.