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Tornadoes and strong winds open paths for invasive pests

A recent study by scientists at the University of Illinois shows that forested areas affected by tornadoes or other wind storms not only knock down many trees but also provide an opening for the spread of invasive weeds and pests by disrupting the forest canopy. In some cases the infestation of exotic pests is so strong that it prevents the forest from growing back.

This provides lessons for us in the Southeast, too, since many of our forests have been impacted by strong winds from recent hurricanes like Michael. Forest managers may want to concentrate their efforts in controlling invasive species in the areas with the biggest blow-downs, where the disruption to the forest is most severe and provides the biggest opening for pests to grow. You can read more at Growing Georgia here.

Source: Georgia Forestry Commission Facebook page