Get Involved in Community Forestry Studies

Do you have Western redcedar or Oregon ash trees on your property or in your neighborhood? Are you concerned about their health or want to help scientists monitor them long-term? Two exciting studies are welcoming your input!

Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) is an important tree in the Pacific Northwest ecosystem, providing critical services such as cleaning the air, storing carbon, and filtering water. However, recently several red cedars across the region have been showing signs of stress, possibly due to climate change. Forest Health Watch, led by Dr. Joey Hulbert at Washington State University, is a project to map and assess the health of western redcedar. You can download the iNaturalist app to join the Western Red Cedar Dieback Map Project and start participating and sharing!

Each time you snap a photo of a redcedar and share it to the project you’ll be asked a few forest health questions that will be saved to the larger study. It’s fun and easy!

Find instructions for participating on the Forest Health Watch Redcedar Map Share Your Observations Instructions page. Watch How to Make an Observation on iNaturalist from iNaturalist for detailed instructions. And follow Forest Health Watch on Facebook.

And for more information contact Joey.

Another regional concern is the Emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect that kills ash trees all over the United States. It is expected that the invasive EAB will reach the West Coast within a few years. As such, Huntington Botanical Gardens is working with the US Forest Service to collect seeds of Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia). If you have an ash tree on your property (you can find an ash tree near you on iNaturalist) and would like to participate in this study please email Tim Thibault for more information.

Between April 30 and May 3, all observations on iNaturalist will count towards the City Nature Challenge, a global contest to observe and identify as much biodiversity (plants, animals, fungi) as possible in a weekend. Let the science begin!

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