[ Return to FHP Southern Region ]

Forest Health Highlights - 1999


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA), Division of Forestry provides forest health protection assistance to state and private land managers within the State.  The State and the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection unit fund this program cooperatively.

Tennessee Forest Types

Tennessee Forest Facts

*  Almost 1/2 of Tennessee is forested (more than 13.6 million acres).

 *  Tennessee’stree species diversity rivals the whole European continent.

*  Over 85% of forested acreage in Tennessee is privately owned. Small landowners comprise the largest group.

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

*  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 and canker diseases and wood boring insects contribute to the disease.   The latest forest survey (1989) indicated that nearly 9% (738,600 acres) of vulnerable oak forests are affected.  This disease will become more prevalent as these forests continue to mature.

*  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, up to 40,000 acres, in the past 5 years.  In 1999, a cooperative eradication project in Scott County treated over 1,900 acres with the biological insecticide, Btk.  The gypsy moth was detected at 33 separate locations throughout the state in 1999.

 *  Dogwood anthracnose infects and destroys one of the state’s most economically and ecologically important trees, the flowering dogwood.  The biennial plot survey of dogwood anthracnose within the infected counties found 49% of the trees dead from dogwood anthracnose.  This exotic disease has now infected over 3.6 million acres of dogwood in Tennessee.

*  The southern pine beetle is the most damaging insect pest in the State.  Beetle populations increased sharply in eastern and southwestern Tennessee.  In 1999, 40 counties had SPB activity with 18 counties classified in outbreak status.  There were almost 3,000 infestations statewide.  The outbreak was so intense in the mountains that stands of pure white pine were infested, an uncommon phenomenon.

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, 1997-2000.





Cooperative Forest Health Program





   Forest Health Monitoring    





Cooperative suppression/eradication



   gypsy moth eradication





Cherokee National Forest

   southern pine beetle suppression





   gypsy moth eradication






For additional information, contact:

Tennessee Department of Agriculture  (or) 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) 837-5176    (828) 257-4320
E-mail: bkauffman@mail.state.tn.us   E-mail:  Asheville Field Office
http://www.state.tn.us/agriculture/forestry/health/   http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth