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Sources for More Information

Bulletin #44: What Ails Your Tree?

There is plenty of help available to anyone interested in identifying, monitoring and controlling insect and disease pests that are impacting urban trees.

Here are two “must have” books for anyone seriously interested in identifying tree pests. Both are nationwide in coverage, highly illustrated and over 500 pages in length. They are published by Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell University Press. These books are particularly valuable for identifying and learning the life cycles of the pests and tree species associated with each pest. These books do not include control suggestions. For the latter, local sources such as your county extension agent or a reputable arborist are the best places to start.

  • Insects that Feed on Trees and Shrubs by Warren T. Johnson and Howard H. Lyon.
  • Diseases of Trees and Shrubs by Wayne A. Sinclair, Howard H. Lyon and Warren T. Johnson.

Three others that have been long-time favorites with arborists and provide self-help information useful to nonprofessionals:

  • Pirone’s Tree Maintenance by John R. Hartman, Thomas P. Pirone and Mary Ann Sall.
  • Diseases of Shade Trees by Terry A. Tatter.
  • Plant Health Care for Woody Ornamentals edited by John Lloyd.

Note: The above publication includes addresses of public universities that offer pest diagnostic services. This book is available from the International Society of Arboriculutre.

Other Publications

There are many leaflets and booklets available on every insect and disease, usually published by Cooperative Extension or other government agencies. For example, “Pest Alerts” are single-page leaflets covering the major pests currently threatening America’s trees. These are published by the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry. The annual report by USDA Forest Health Protection scientists is:

Major Forest Insect and Disease Conditions in the United States

Copies are available from:

U.S. Forest Service–Forest Health Protection

1400 Independence Ave. S.W. Stop Code 1110 Washington, DC 20250-1110


An excellent video was produced as a student project and shown at the 2010 Partners in Community Forestry National Conference. Titled Bugged–The Race to Eradicate the Asian Longhorned Beetle, more information and individual copies in DVD format are available from Producer/Director Emily V. Driscoll.

Some Excellent Web Links

Visit the Arbor Day Foundation Tree Health Guide

An online Tree Care Guide has been developed to help you find immediate access to a network of professional arborists, foresters, and Cooperative Extension agents to provide effective best management practices for insect problems and plant diseases.