Drought increases the impact of other forest problems, a forestry expert says.
“Drought is always an issue,” said Andy Perleberg, Washington State University Extension forester in Wenatchee.
It becomes a bigger problem when forests are overstocked, he said. Trees become so stressed that they are unable to survive tougher times, such as bark beetles or a slow-moving root disease.
“A lot of different things can kill it, but it’s the sum of all the damage agents that dispose it to death,” Perleberg said.
Forest landowners gathered to learn about drought and several other topics June 23 during WSU Extension’s Forest and Range Owners Field Day.
Forest entomologists expect insect pests such as Douglas-fir tussock moth and spruce budworm to begin popping up again sometime soon in some locations, Perleberg said.
“They come in cycles and it’s time for another outbreak,” he said.
Other topics throughout the day included reforestation, thinning and pruning, protecting forests from wildfire, wildlife habitat, technical and financial assistance programs and soil compaction.
About 250 people gathered in Valleyford, Wash., for the event.
The field day was designed to help landowners better understand basic and new management information, Perleberg said.
Unlike farms, the number of forest owners has increased, he said.
“As one 160-acre becomes four 40-acre parcels, my clientele is growing,” he said.
Another Family Forest Owners Field Day will be Aug. 18 in Woodland, Wash. For more information, contact Perleberg at firstname.lastname@example.org