Monday, July 3, 2017

Request for Ash Samaras for Embryogenic Cultures

Request for Ash Samaras for Embryogenic Cultures
Drs. Scott Merkle and Kamal Gandhi, University of Georgia

Our research team would like to greatly expand our collection of embryogenic cultures from seeds collected from surviving ash trees that have remained alive for at least five years since emerald ash borer (EAB)-induced dieback has been documented in an area.  Below are collection and shipping instructions for cooperators who have identified putatively EAB-tolerant female ash trees from which samaras can be collected.

We would like to get about 50-100 immature samaras per ash tree.  They need to be collected from the tree while they are still immature.  In Athens, Georgia, the stage of green ash seed (not fruit with wing) development that worked best was when seeds were 4-8 mm long and the zygotic embryos inside were 1-3 mm long.  Below are some photos showing the stages of seed and embryo development we tested some years ago.  In the seed photo, the best stages for culture initiation are in the middle of the distribution.  In the embryo photo, the shorter embryos were the best.  The best date for getting those stages here in northeastern Georgia was the third week of August.  The best collection date for white ash seeds in Michigan was the first few weeks of August.  You could dissect some of the samaras to check if the seeds and embryos are near these stages.  Samaras should be stored in zip-lock bags, with the name or code for the tree written on the bag in Sharpie.  Please try to get them into a cooler on cold packs as soon as possible after they are collected and store them in a refrigerator until shipped.  They can be shipped in a cooler on cold packs (cheap Styrofoam cooler in a cardboard box or insulated bag is fine).  FedX or UPS next day delivery would be best (can arrive anytime the next day—it does not need to be here by 10 AM).  We can supply our UPS account number, if needed.  They should be shipped to:

Dr. Scott Merkle
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
180 E. Green Street
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602

When you ship, please email the tracking number to  We have had some problems with UPS, and we don’t want the samaras to sit in some broiling warehouse for a day.  Also, please include information about the collection date(s), tree locations, and time since EAB detection/first report of dieback in the area.  Photographs of the crown of the surviving ash trees will be appreciated.

Green ash seed (left) and zygotic embryo (right) developmental stages.  Bar in each photo is 1 mm.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Data and Knowledge Preservation

Photo by: Rebekah D. Wallace
Did you know that many projects begin, have a specific purpose planned out, but do not have a long-term plan in place for the management of the data after the project ends?  This is an issue across many research fields, including natural/physical/social sciences, medicine, and other fields which collect data.  For many years, there wasn't a venue or way for data to be stored, categorized, searchable, and broadly available, so this was a problem without an easy solution.  Now, the internet and public databases have helped to provide a piece to that puzzle, however, there are still issues with adoption of technology, errors in documentation. lack of standardization, and more.  Check out our article on Data and Knowledge Preservation over at Earthzine to learn more about this topic.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"Integrative Forest Management for Wildlife and Forest Health" webinar

Multi-use forests can be a problem from land managers and wildlife alike. Learn more on how you can ease this by attending the webinar for Integrative Forest Management for Wildlife and Forest Health on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 1 p.m. EST. Dr. Mark McConnell - University of Georgia, D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources will be this webinar's presenter.

The increasing emphasis on multiple-use forests can be a challenge for landowners and land managers.  This webinar will discuss strategies to increase wildlife populations and habitat while maintaining a productive, healthy forest stand.  Topics covered will include preferred tree species for wildlife, stand structure, and different management strategies for various wildlife species, especially in the southeastern U.S.

CEUs available are: 

  • Texas Dept of Ag - Pesticide Safety Continuing Ed - 1 hour IPM Credit [credits applied for] 
  • Georgia Master Timber Harvester - 1 hour CLE - Environment Credit 
  • Mississippi Professional Logging Manager - 1 hour Other Credit 
  • Society of American Foresters - 1 hour Category 1 Credit 
  • Texas Pro Logger Program - 1 hour Other Credit

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Save the Dates for the 9th International IPM Symposium!

The 9th International IPM Symposium will be held March 19-22, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. The event will allow  for the opportunity to learn about the newest research and ideas for IPM as well as networking with those working in IPM. For more information, check out

IPM 2018 logo

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The People Have Spoken: Using Forest and Firewood National Polling Data to Promote Forest Health

Do you know more about invasive species and their correlation to moving firewood? We have the webinar for you! On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at 1 p.m. EST, Leigh Greenwood from The Nature Conservancy will be presenting "The People Have Spoken: Using Forest and Firewood National Polling Data to Promote Forest Health".

"Invasive species are a major forest health threat in North America, costing federal, state, and local governments billions of dollars annually for monitoring, management, and mitigation of impacts.  Landowners are often negatively affected when forest ecosystems are changed and they lose valuable trees to invasive pests.  Human-mediated movement of invasive species is a common method in which pests travel long distances.  Using data from a national survey of U.S. citizens, this webinar will discuss people's attitudes and knowledge towards invasive species and the relationship with firewood.  We will consider these data, and the common perceptions of individuals who routinely frequent the outdoors, in the broader context of forest health."

CEUs available are:
  • Texas Dept of Ag - Pesticide Safety Continuing Ed - 1 hour IPM Credit   [credits applied for]
  • Georgia Master Timber Harvester - 1 hour CLE - Environment Credit
  • Mississippi Professional Logging Manager - 1 hour Other Credit
  • Society of American Foresters - 1 hour Category 1 Credit
  • Texas Pro Logger Program - 1 hour Other Credit

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

APHIS Adds Forty-four Counties in Georgia to the Emerald Ash Borer Regulated Area

Leah Bauer, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station,

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding Banks, Bartow, Butts, Catoosa, Chattooga, Clarke, Columbia, Coweta, Dada, Dawson, Elbert, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Gilmer, Gordon, Greene, Hall, Haralson, Hart, Heard, Jackson, Jasper, Lamar, Lincoln, Lumpkin, Madison, McDuffie, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Richmond, Spalding, Stephens, Taliaferro, Towns, Union, Walker, Warren, and Wilkes Counties in Georgia to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action at the state’s request in response to the detection of EAB in Bartow, Gilmer, Rabun, and Union Counties

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from the quarantined area in Georgia. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from the quarantined area in Georgia is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species.

EAB is an invasive wood-boring beetle that is native to China and other areas of East Asia. The beetle is present in some portions of the United States, and because of its continuing spread, APHIS has established regulated areas that are designated in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 7 CFR 301.53-3 and the Federal Orders located at:

The interstate movement of firewood from quarantined areas is an especially high-risk pathway for the spread of EAB. Therefore, APHIS works with state cooperators and foresters to prevent the human assisted movement of EAB, develop biological and other controls for EAB, and raise public awareness about this pest and the potential threats associated with the long-distance movement of firewood.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Spread by trade and climate, bugs butcher America's forests

Insect pests, some native and others from as far away as Asia, can undermine forest ecosystems. For example, scientists say, several species of hemlock and almost 20 species of ash could nearly go extinct in the coming decades. Such destruction would do away with a critical sponge to capture greenhouse gas emissions, shelter for birds and insects and food sources for bears and other animals. Dead forests also can increase the danger of catastrophic wildfires.
Today's connected world enables foreign invaders to cross oceans in packing materials or on garden plants, and then reach American forests. Once here, they have rapidly expanded their ranges.
There is more:  Please see the original article by Michael Casey and Patrick Whittle, Associated Press that is available at