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Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices

Chapter 15. Insects and Diseases of Urban Forests


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Trees in the urban environment suffer from many stresses that make them susceptible to insects and diseases. Even though most insect species are valuable to trees, some insects can injure trees and weaken structure by defoliating crowns, sucking sap and boring into bark. As such, insects can be categorized by their method of feeding: chewing, sucking or boring. Damage characteristics of each group leave clues for an arborist or tree health care professional to decipher the pest group and implement an effective control measure. Susceptible trees can also become infected by one of two types of diseases: those caused by living agents (diseases) and those caused by nonliving agents (disorders). In either situation, an effective integrated pest management program must be implemented.

Bibliographical Resources:

Johnson, W., Lyon, H. (1991). Insects That Feed on Trees and Shrubs. International Society of Arboriculture. Champaigne, IL. 560 pp.

MacAloney, H. and Ewan H. (1964). Identification of Hardwood Insects by Type of Tree Injury, North Central Region. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Sinclair, W., Lyon, H., Johnson, W. (2005). Diseases of Trees and Shrubs, Second Edition. International Society of Arboriculture. Champaign, IL. 676 pp.

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