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Prevention Steps You Can Take

Keep your woods healthy

The best way to prevent disease and insect outbreaks is to keep your trees healthy. Just like people, trees can be stressed, which can make them more vulnerable to insects and disease. For example, when trees are attacked, sometimes they can push out pests by moving large volumes of sap through their branches—but not if they’re too crowded or aren’t getting enough water. Like people, if they aren’t healthy, they can’t fight off minor infections.

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Maintain a diverse woods

Once a tree is attacked, insects and pathogens can spread to neighbors. Many pests only attack a single species, so it’s useful to have a mix of trees in your woods. Also, keeping trees farther apart helps them stay healthy by getting the light, water, and soil nutrients they need—although it can also help  weeds grow on the forest floor. An expert can help you figure out the best way to keep the trees in your woods happy and healthy.

Don't move firewood

Don’t move firewood long distances. Tree-killing pests hitch rides on wood, even wood that looks fine. A pest could be lurking—all it takes is a couple of insect eggs or microscopic fungal spores. As a rule of thumb, try to get firewood from less than 10 miles away. Some states have laws against moving firewood long distances.

Use Pesticides Appropriately

Pesticides are part of managing pests to cause diseases. Use them correctly to avoid disrupting natural insect communities. Insect predators and parasites—the good bugs you want in your woods—thrive when they have a lot of insects to choose from.

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