How to Keep Your Forest Healthy: July 23 Workshop on Stopping Invasive Insects

CHARDON, Ohio — The Geauga Park District’s Big Creek Park will host a workshop on how to spot and manage invasive forest pests, such as the emerald ash borer, on July 23 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Included will be details on a new threat, the spotted lanternfly, which has been found in Pennsylvania. It attacks, among others, apple, cherry and pine trees.

Leading the workshop will be forestry experts from the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Non-native insects like the Asian longhorned beetle and hemlock woolly adelgid have spread into Ohio and can hurt and kill certain trees, said Kathy Smith, a workshop instructor and the program’s director. And that can harm forests that shelter wildlife, support recreation, and help keep streams and rivers clean.

Spotted lanternfly (Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,

The pests also can ruin valuable timber, she said. And they cost cities and homeowners money by having to cut down and replace dead trees.

The workshop’s main goal, Smith said, is to help people prevent or limit that damage.

Also among the topics will be the gypsy moth, the viburnum leaf beetle, the insect-carried thousand cankers disease of walnuts, and what you should do if you find these and any other invasive pests.

Gypsy moth (Photo: USDA APHIS PPQ Archive,

A final session held in the park’s woods will show some of the bugs’ damage firsthand.

The event takes place in the park’s Donald W. Meyer Center, 9160 Robinson Road in Chardon.

Registration is $35 and includes lunch. Registering in advance is required and is due by July 16. Online registration and payment are available at

Or send your name, address and check for payment to Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, 210 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus OH 43210. Include the workshop’s name, “Forest Health: Invasive Insects.”

Viburnum leaf beetle (Photo: Paul Weston, Cornell University, 

For more information, call 614-688-3421 or email

Smith and others with the program helped develop a free app for reporting sightings of invasive species — insects as well as weeds, trees, fish, mammals and more — which can help officials control them sooner and better. Details are at

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Kurt Knebusch


Kathy Smith