1998 Indiana Forest Health Highlights
The Resource
Indiana ranks third nationally in hardwood lumber production adding over $4 billion to the state's economy. Of the over 1000 business and manufacturers in the forest products industry, 59,000 people are employed with a total payroll over $1 billion annually.

The forest products industry is the fifth largest manufacturing industry in the state. To support the industry, approximately 500 million board feet were harvested in the most recent year for which statistics are available. For the second quarter of 1997, lumber/wood product exports totaled $57 million an increase of 22% from the first quarter. Indiana continues to grow approximately 40% more material (14% more in sawlog volume) than is utilized to produce sawtimber, veneer, handles, pulp and cooperage; however this margin has narrowed in recent years as a result of increased global and domestic demands for Indiana hardwood products. Since 1907, forestland increased approximately 430,000 acres, and the volume of timber increased 54% during the last 20 years. Hardwoods account for 96% of the forest that is identified into 13 forest types. Good sites (ability to grow trees 70 feet tall at age 50) represent 76% of the forest, which is privately owned (88%).

Indiana 1998 Major Forest Types

Indiana Forest Statistics
Total acres 22,956,900
Forested acres 4,517,300
Percent forested - all land 20%
Percent timberland - all land 19%
Percent timber land - forest land 98%
Reserved acres 161,000 or 3.0% of forest land
Special Issues
White Pine Mortality occurred across the state and continues to be the most commonly reported forest health problem. Although white pine is a small component of the forest resources, it is widely used ornamentally and is one of the most versatile tree species used for timber, wildlife habitat, windbreaks, erosion control, Christmas trees and ornamental trees. White pine root decline (Verticicladiella procera) continues to be the primary agent causing the mortality to windbreak, yard and Christmas trees. During the 1990's, mortality has ranged from just a few trees killed to 50% of some plantations killed. Dying/dead windbreak trees from 6 to 40 feet tall resulted in phone calls from homeowners requesting management information to save the remaining trees. Although no direct control measures are available once symptoms appear, landowners are advised to remove infected trees (sanitation) not to replant the site with a pine. Landowners are also advised to plant on sites with good internal drainage. A general observation indicates the disease to be more common on 'wetter' sites (poor drainage).
1998 Total males moths caught per county - WI map
The 1998 Cooperative Statewide Gypsy Moth Survey answered the question from 1997 - "Where, oh Where, did they come from?" The 1997 survey detected a large increase in male moth catches compared to 1996 (5,798 to 61,194). The 1998 survey detected 81,995. Thus, the large increase in 1997 is the result of a larval "BLOW-IN" event that extended two thirds the length of the state from north to south and two thirds the width of the state from east to west.

After 25 years of surveying to detect gypsy moth introductions, and 10 years of intensive surveying, Indiana quarantined the first county for gypsy moth in 1998 - Steuben County. This act indicates that gypsy moth is a resident of Indiana. Since 1980, male gypsy moths have been detected in the state every year. This indicated that gypsy moth could be establishing itself in the state. With the intensive survey identifying introductions and eradication projects eliminating those introductions, the spread of gypsy moth into and within Indiana has been delayed by 10 years. Without our efforts to slow the spread of gypsy moth, it would have been a resident in 1988.

To help Slow-The-Spread, three sites were treated in 1998 using three area applications of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk). A total of 393 acres were treated in Porter and LaPorte counties. Each treatment significantly reduced the population and slowed-the-spread of gypsy moth.

The maps below show the moth catch for and the Slow-The-Spread zone in the state. To learn more about Slow-The-Spread, you can contact the Internet site http://www.gypsymoth.ento.vt.edu/STS/

Location of positive and negative gypsy moth traps in 1998
Location of positive and negative gypsy moth traps in 1998
Slow-the-Spread zone and moth lines from the 1998 survey data
Slow-the-Spread zone and moth lines from the 1998 survey data
Dogwood Anthracnose and Powdery Mildew - These diseases are present in the understory dogwood, and the question is "which disease is causing most of the problem?" Dogwood anthracnose was introduced on nursery stock several years ago and at the same time powdery mildew was observed on the understory trees. Mortality of dogwood has been observed in Parke, Jackson and Brown Counties, however dogwood anthracnose has only been isolated from the Brown County. The dilemma continues as to what role each plays in the health of flowering dogwood. Although dogwood mortality has occurred, surveys in the mid 1990's found dogwood to be healthy and no widespread death occurring as has been reported from eastern states (such as West Virginia)

Regional Issues
The distribution of Pine Shoot Beetle, Tomicus pineperda, continues to move through the state with 5 new counties in 1998. This is still a regulatory pest and not considered a serious threat to the health of the pine forests of the state.

Butternut canker affects trees throughout the state. During the past three years, nine butternut were located that may have resistance/tolerance to this disease. Scionwood was collected from these trees and grafted onto black walnut. Eventually, the grafted trees will be challenged with the disease to determine resistance/tolerance.


Pine Shoot Beetle
Forest Health Monitoring Survey
In 1996, Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) established 144 plots across the state. Of these, 38 plots had a forest condition. The FHM plot consists of 4 subplots with each subplot a fixed radius of 24 feet. FHM plots are located according to a national survey grid and are approximately 16 miles apart.

The information collected in the FHM survey is part of a national design. Thus, results of the survey are used to make comparisons and analysis on a national or forest type basis. Using the data to make analysis within state boundaries is not statistically sound as this time. However, the baseline data can give a "snapshot" of the trees and forests in Indiana at the start of the annual FHM survey.

The FHM survey began the next statewide Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) of Indiana's forest resources (last survey 1986) by combining FIA into FHM. The FIA survey completed the statewide survey in August 1998 and began the annualized survey of the state under the Forest Inventory and Monitoring (FIMS) program. The FHM survey completed the remeasurement of approximately one fourth of the plots in 1997 and 1998 as part of its' annual remeasurement.

On each subplot, information is taken on all trees 5.0+" DBH. A microplot is used to collect information on seedlings (<1.0") and saplings (1.0-4.9"). The tree information collected consists of crown and damage measures. Crown measures are live crown ratio, crown density, foliage transparency, dieback, crown position, crown exposure and crown diameter.

Dieback by Genus/Species for trees >5.0" DBH (% of all trees examined)
Oak 2.7%
Elm 2.0%
Ash 1.7%
Maple 1.4%
Yellow Poplar 1.1%
Hickory 0.6%
Aspen 0.6%
Other Hwds. 4.8%
Using these measures and making comparisons between years, the FHM survey should identify a problem with a tree species or forest type. Once identified, a problem can be evaluated on a more localized basis to understand the problem and define management measures. The information below summarizes the initial survey findings. Analysis of change from 1998 to 1996 has not been completed to date.

Number of trees 5.0+" DBH
Maple 111
Ash 92
Oak 81
Hickory 53
Elm 49
Yellow Poplar 44
Other Genus/species 200
Six forest types were represented in the survey with Oak/Hickory the predominate type followed by Maple/Beech/Birch. The survey examined 630 trees 5.0+" DBH in 1996. Maple, ash, oaks, hickory, elm and yellow poplar were the most common examined. For saplings, maple, elm, beech and yellow poplar were the most common with ash, oak and hickory a small component.

The crown measures of foliage transparency, crown density, dieback and live crown ratio can be used to access the tree's "health". Trees with low foliage transparency and dieback values and high crown density and live crown ratio have increased potential for carbon fixation, nutrient storage, survival and reproduction.
Crown Density within genus/species (% of genus/species sampled)
Genus/species Average (21-50%) Good (>50%)
Sweetgum n=6 16.7 83.3
Maple n=111 22.5 77.5
Yellow poplar n=44 22.7 75.0
Walnut n=16 25.0 68.8
Basswood n=3 33.3 66.7
Hickory n=53 37.7 62.3
Elm n=49 38.8 57.1
Oak n=81 48.2 51.8
Beech n=13 53.8 46.2
Ash n=92 57.6 42.4
Aspen n=8 62.5 37.5
Cottonwood n=3 100.0 00.0
Other Hwds n=128 46.1 50.8
For foliage transparency, which is used to indicate defoliation, the survey found 97% of the hardwoods and 92% of the softwoods had normal transparency (<30%). Only maple, oak, elm and ash had any trees with moderate to severe transparency (30-50% & >50%).

Dieback is the amount of current years twigs that have died in the outer tree crown. No dieback was found on 84% of the hardwoods and 96% of the softwoods. Light dieback (6-20%) was observed on 13.7% of the hardwoods. Moderate to severe dieback (21-50% & >50%) was recorded on 1.6% of the hardwoods. Only one softwood tree had dieback. By genus/species, Oak, elm, maple, ash and yellow poplar had the most dieback recorded.

Crown density is the amount of foliage, twigs, branches, and seeds in the crown. The survey found 98.7% of all trees had average to good density (21-50% & >50%). Only hardwoods - elm, yellow poplar and black walnut - recorded trees with poor density (<20%). By genus/species, ash, aspen, and beech had more trees with average density than a good density. Maples had the highest percent of trees with good density for the hardwoods.

For hardwoods, 64% of the trees had Live Crown Ratios greater than 40%; whereas the softwoods had 87% of the trees greater than 40%. Examining individual genus/species, there may be concern with ash, yellow poplar, black walnut and elm that had 40%, 58%, 57% and 66%, respectively, of the trees sampled with LCR >40%. This may indicate a problem in the "health" of this genus/species.

Another measure used to access the "health" is damage.

Damage indicators are cankers, open woods, decay conks, broken bole, brooms, dead terminals, discolored foliage and more. The survey found no damage on 70% of the hardwoods and 91% of the softwoods. By genus/species, of all trees sampled, maple, ash, oak, hickory, elm, yellow poplar and beech had damage recorded more than other species. Within a genus/species, beech, maple and ash had the highest percentage of trees with damage. In the hardwoods, 8% of the trees sample had more than one damage. (Three damages can be tallied per tree).

The most common damages recorded were decay indicators, loss of apical dominance, open wounds, broken branches and cankers. Decay indicators represented 70% of the damages recorded.

From the initial data, the "health" of ash, yellow poplar, elm and perhaps maple and oak in Indiana needs to be monitored for future change. The live crown ratio, crown density, crown transparency and crown dieback data for these genus/species indicate they may have a greater "health" concern than other genus/species. Evaluating 1997 remeasurement data and comparing Indiana data to regional data within genus/species may provide an understanding of the "health" of forest resources in Indiana.

Crown & damage measures indicating the need to monitor the "health" of the tree.
Genus/species transparency: % of trees >30% transparency dieback (% of trees) density (%) live crown ratio >40% (% of trees) % of trees with 'X' damage(s)
Aver. Good 0 3
ash 6.5 1.7 57.6 42.4 40.0 66.3 1.0
Yellow poplar 0.0 1.1 22.7 75.0 58.0 75.0 2.3
elm 2.0 2.0 38.8 57.1 66.0 77.5 2.0
maple 0.9 1.4 22.5 77.5 82.0 65.8 0.9
oak 2.5 2.7 48.2 51.8 71.0 77.8 0.0
The information collected in the FHM survey is part of a national design. Thus, results of the survey are used to make comparisons and analysis on a national or forest type basis. Using the data to make analysis within state boundaries is not statistically sound at this time. However, the baseline data can give a "snapshot" of the trees and forest in Indiana at the start of the annual FHM survey.
Burnell Fisher,
State Forester
Division of Forestry
402 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-4107
Indiana DNR Forest Health Protection
USDA Forest Service
1992 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
(612) 649-5261
Northeastern Area, S&PF logo
Updated: December 1999.......

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