College News
College News

The 5th annual Kentucky Forest Health Conference will address new invasive threats

The 5th annual Kentucky Forest Health Conference will address new invasive threats

The 5th annual Kentucky Forest Health Conference will address new invasive threats

This year's conference places a special emphasis on the Spotted Lanternfly which recently made its presence known in Kentucky.

Lexington, Ky.—

Invasive species highlight the 2024 Kentucky Forest Health Conference, now in its fifth year. The event brings together a wide array of experts and stakeholders, addressing current and emerging forest health and management challenges. 

“The conference is a platform where professional expertise and research converge, fostering a shared vision for the sustainable management of our woodlands,” said Ellen Crocker, forest health extension assistant professor in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. 

This year's conference, scheduled Feb. 7 at Kroger Field’s Longship Club, places a special emphasis on the Spotted Lanternfly. The invasive insect recently made its presence known in Kentucky – a concern as the pest can disrupt the state's natural environment and inflict havoc on multiple state industries.  

“Spotted Lanternfly detections in Kentucky are a wake-up call," Crocker said. “This invasive species represents a significant threat to our forests and agricultural sectors.” 

Experts, including the UK Department of Entomology’s Seth Spinner will discuss the impact and management strategies for the invasive species. Representatives from the Universities of Indiana and Illinois, where the insect has also been spotted, will share their experiences and insights – focusing on the Spotted Lanternfly and its preferred host – the invasive Tree of Heaven. 

The conference is not just about addressing threats but also about exploring new frontiers in forest management. An example is the use of drones for monitoring landscapes and integrating technology into environmental stewardship. 

In addition, the conference will address other forest health issues such as the Emerald Ash Borer, Wineberry, Amur Cork Tree, Japanese Hops, Elm Zigzag Sawfly and Brown Spot Needle Blight. These sessions will arm participants with knowledge on identification, management and potential impacts on Kentucky's forests. 

“The Kentucky Forest Health Conference is more than just a gathering; it's a calling for action to those who care about the state's woodlands,” Crocker said. “It's an opportunity to learn, share and collaborate towards a healthier, more resilient forest ecosystem.” 

# # #                                    

The Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization with respect to education and employment and authorization to provide research, education information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Entomology Environment Events Forestry

Related News

Contact Information

Scovell Hall Lexington, KY 40546-0064