division of agriculture banner and home link
Plant Industries

What We Do

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture Plant Industries Division protects the state’s fields and forests from destructive organisms. Problematic species are monitored through surveillance programs, populations are limited through control measures, and regulatory efforts help prevent movement of pests into and out of the state. The division also maintains the state’s largest collection of native insect specimens in it pest identification library.

What's Going On

The beech scale insect was first detected in West Virginia in 1981. Its feeding activity creates wounds that act as entry points for a fungal component called beech bark disease (BBD) which weakens and kills the tree. It’s been found in 12 counties. West Virginia Department of Agriculture has been conducting artificial challenges of “potentially resistant” beech trees. This technique attempts to provide a rigorous test of a trees’ ability to resist insect infestation by placing scale eggs in direct contact with the bark of a test tree, providing an ideal environment for the insect to thrive. The challenge trees are evaluated in the field and lab. If the scales did not reproduce and colonize, shoots are collected and sent to the USFS Research lab in Ohio for grafting to beech root stock.
The objective of this project is to find resistant beech trees for a regionally adapted seed orchard which is located at the US Forest Service’s Timber and Watershed Laboratory in Parsons, WV, established by the WVDA. These types of orchards will provide seed to generate resistant seedlings for restoration plantings so healthy American beech trees can persist in our forests.
Helping to keep WV's Hemlock population healthy is key.  The tree here has been attacking by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.
WVDA Plant Industries staff plants a BBD-resistant tree in the beech orchard in Parsons, WV.
 


WVDA Plant Industries Lumber Inspection
Aerial spraying over WV for Gypsy Moth
WVDA Plant Industries checks on local trees for pests
 

1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East State Capitol, Room E-28, Charleston, WV, 25305-0170 P: (304) 558-3550 F: (304) 558-2203

Privacy, Security and Accessibility | WV.gov | USA.gov | © 2017 State of West Virginia