Land managers learn about forest invasion

By Tom Lollis

Some things in South Carolina forests should not be there, and more invaders are on the way. Timber producers, buyers, foresters and forest landowners learned how to recognize and combat invasive plants, insects and diseases this spring at the Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville.

“A shocking number of exotic insects and diseases are killing trees in the eastern United States,” said Beth Richardson, Extension forestry agent who led the short course. “Many of them started out in northern states but now are moving to South Carolina.”

The list includes emerald ash borer, sirex wood wasp, redbay wilt disease, beech bark disease, longhorn Asian beetle, sudden oak disease and hemlock wooly adelgid. Course participants, who represented 1.2 million acres of forest lands, learned about these pests and invasive plants such as Chinese tallow tree and privet, which is considered to be more invasive than kudzu.

A booklet with descriptions and color photographs of invasive species is available at:

For information: Beth Richardson, 803-534-6280, ext. 36,