[ FHP Southern Region ]

Forest Health Highlights 1997


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry provides forest health protection assistance to state and private land managers within the State. This program is funded cooperatively by the State and the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection unit.

TN Forest Type Distribution  
Tennessee Forest Facts

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Almost 1/2 of Tennessee is forested (more than 13.2 million acres).

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Tennessee's tree species diversity rivals the whole European continent.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Over 85% of forested acreage in Tennessee is privately owned. Small landowners comprise the largest group.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)The Cherokee National Forest (556,000 acres) provides recreational and wildlife benefits as well as forest products industry jobs for thousands of people.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Oak decline is impacting timber and recreation in Tennessee. Oak decline results in dieback and mortality of the larger mature oaks. A complex of factors such as spring drought, frost, insect defoliation, and secondary agents such as root disease and wood boring insects contribute to the disease. The latest forest survey (1989) indicated that nearly 9% (738,600 acres) of vulnerable oak forests is affected. This disease will become more prevalent as these forests continue to mature.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Another threat to the hardwood-dominated forests of Tennessee is the gypsy moth. The State works closely with the USDA Forest Service to monitor and quickly identify any accidental introductions of the gypsy moth. There have been several successful large eradication projects in the past 4 years. In 1997, gypsy moth was detected at 40 separate locations in Middle and East Tennessee.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Dogwood anthracnose infects and destroys one of the states most economically and ecologically important trees, the flowering dogwood. The disease is currently found in 52 counties in eastern half of the State. The 1997 annual plot survey of dogwood anthracnose within the infected counties found 39% of the trees dead from dogwood anthracnose .

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)The southern pine beetle is the most damaging insect pest in the State. While only 221 acres were infested in 1997, the insect periodically reaches outbreak status in which thousands of infestations can develop over multi-county areas. Such a situation existed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1992 to 1994.


The Tennessee Division of Forestry
and USDA Forest Service

In spite of the relatively good health of Tennessee's forests, a variety of insects and diseases (both native and introduced), and human-caused impacts such as air pollution, continue to threaten the State's resources. To deal with this constantly changing mix of challenges, the TDA Division of Forestry and the Forest Health Protection unit of the USDA Forest Service cooperate to prevent, detect, suppress and manage this multitude of threats. The partnership between the two agencies has worked for three decades to maintain and improve the health of Tennessee's forests.

Forest Health Protection contributions (dollars) to the TDA Division of Forestry Cooperative Forest Health program, cooperative pest suppression/eradication projects, and Cherokee National Forest suppression/eradication projects, 1995-98.





Cooperative Forest Health Program





Cooperative suppression/eradication
gypsy moth eradication





Cherokee National Forest
southern pine beetle suppression





gypsy moth eradication






For additional information, contact:

Tennessee Department of Agriculture
USDA Forest Service
Division of Forestry
Forest Health Protection
P.O. Box 40627
P.O. Box 2680
Nashville, TN 37204-0627
Asheville, NC 28802-2680
(615) 360-0176
(828) 257-4320