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August 24, 2015
Vol. 2, Issue 6
August 2015
Save the Date!  

August 29 - Jere Melo Foundation 4th Annual Walk to Take Back Our Forests; Registration is free.

October 9 - Hazardous Fuels Reduction Demonstration, Shaver Lake; Registration is free.

October 16 - Hazardous Fuels Reduction Demonstration, Big Bear Lake; Registration is free.  

November 4 - 5 - 2015 Annual Meeting of the California Forest Pest Council; USDA Forest Service, Wildland Fire Training & Conference Center; McClellan.

November 20 - Hazardous Fuels Reduction Demonstration, Santa Rosa Indian Reservation, Mountain Center; Registration is free.  
Northern California Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Outbreak Over
The recent Douglas-fir tussock moth (DFTM) outbreak that defoliated over 28,000 acres of white fir on the Lassen and Plumas National Forests (NF), as well as adjacent private lands, has come to an end. Observations of dying caterpillars last summer and the lack of cocoons and eggs masses found during surveys last fall indicated that the population
White fir DFTM mortality. Plumas NF. 2015. By R. Tompkins, USFS
White fir mortality associated with severe DFTM defoliation, Plumas NF, 2015. By R. Tompkins, USFS
had crashed. However, it wasn't until the flush of new growth this spring that the effects of defoliation on individual trees were fully known. While there were a few hot spots of tree mortality and top-kill, the overwhelming majority of trees are recovering. The few areas that did have dieoff were typical for such an event - white fir growing on drier sites, such as upper slopes and ridgetops in areas historically dominated by pine species.  
Defoliated white fir 2014.Plumas NF. By R. Mahnke, USFS. pic 2
DFTM-defoliated white fir, Plumas NF, 2014. By R. Mahnke, USFS.
Defoliated white fir 2015. Plumas NF. By R. Mahnke, USFS.
Same white fir, 2015. By R. Mahnke, USFS.

For more information on Douglas-fir tussock  moth, go to: .
Help Make the "Wood Decay - Tree Failure Project" a Success
Your Participation is Requested!  Tree managers, arborists, and foresters are being asked to submit samples of failed wood to the "Wood Decay - Tree Failure Project." It is quick, simple, and free, thanks to The Britton Fund.
Tree failure is common, but its causes are only partially understood.  While many broken
Tree Failure. By UCCE Marin
Tree Failure. By UCCE Marin.
trees show clear signs of wood decay at the point of failure, other failures occur in wood that appears sound and decay free. This project will build an understanding of which fungal species are associated with tree failures by using a DNA assay to analyze wood samples for the presence of fungi from the point of failure. Even wood that looks sound can be tested, thus revealing the role of these organisms in incipient decay that may lead to failure.
Simply collect a small sample of the failed wood (per sample kit instructions) and fill out a Tree Failure Form (capturing details of the failure). Sample kits and pre-paid envelopes can be obtained by contacting Igor Laćan at . Results will be sent to you in 6-8 weeks as well as entered in the Tree Failure Database. For more information, visit and "Factoring Wood Decay into Risk Assessment."
Tree Health Questions?  Ask
Remember to use the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab "THANQs - FAQ" web page for questions about tree health, disease, and management.  Intended for professionals and lay people alike, all tree-related questions will be answered by a professional.  Answers will be posted to the FAQ page as a resource for others looking for similar information.  The more questions received, the more information that can be posted to share, making Thanqs an even better resource. 
Newsletter feedback and ideas are welcome.  Please submit comments to

When camping this summer, always buy or gather firewood from local sources, helping to minimize the spread of pests and diseases - Buy It Where You Burn It.  For a list of firewood dealers local to where you will be recreating, go to


Katie Harrell (formerly Palmieri)
Communications Director  
California Forest Pest Council
California Forest Pest Council | (510) 847-5482 | |

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