LEVY IN FLORIDA

Problems of Florida’s Forest and Tree Resources

INTRODUCTION

Trees are a natural resource that is so much valued for various reasons some which range from aesthetic value, economic reasons and environmental reasons.  The trees are always made neat and smart so that they can appear so beautiful to the eye. The trees also play a good role in conserving the environment since they work to increase the oxygen levels in the environment. Economical advantages of having trees are to country ranges from the timber extraction, source of wood for factories and also building material.

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The numerous advantages that the country receives from the trees are so vital so that a special board has been initiated to look into all aspects of the forests. Statistics show that a large number of trees get destroyed every year from insects and diseases. This has placed the country to a point where it losses millions of dollars from the destruction. The destruction has also resulted into overlapping problems in other sectors of the economy like building and construction and also factories that rely on timber as the main source of fuel.

STRESS IN TREES

Subjecting trees to environmental stresses is one way through which the trees get attacked with the pests. Trees of such nature are vulnerable to attacks from diseases. Manmade and natural stresses both work to increase disease and pest attacks. The main cause of stress in trees include: nutrient imbalance and long lasting draughts. The stresses can vary from acute to chronic rankings. Acute stresses include floods, abrupt freezes and construction damages. Other causes of stress include insects and other disease causing organisms.

Construction activities induce stresses in tress by breaking and debarking them. Other sources of stress include soil compaction, changes in soil and water drainage patters, and air pollution. All these make the trees more vulnerable to attacks from insects and diseases.

DISEASES IN TREES

Diseases in plants can be defined as any sustained and progressive impairment of the structures and normal functions of the living plants. Diseases in plants are caused by a variety of factors which are divided into two categories; non living and living things. It is important to know the cause of the diseases so that designing the treatment can be arrived at easily, a process called diagnosis. Each disease has its own set of symptoms. The general symptoms of an attacked plant include: decay, galls, die backs, foliage discoloration and wilting. Other signs include the presence of causal agents like fungal growth and pests.

Environmental influences like temperatures, soils conditions and moisture all work towards influencing the biological adaptations of the trees. These affect the pathological cycles and as a result affect the disease development chains in the trees. The environmental conditions in the Florida forests are a little freezy and cold. This provides a good ground for the incubation of most of the diseases after they have attacked the trees. This cold environment leads to the development of fungi, which are a vector to the development of diseases. Any dead tree is therefore a hazard to the life of trees. This is because saprophytes like fungi develop on debris of organic substances.

CONTROL OF DISEASES AND PESTS

There is danger of spread of the diseases and pests incase no control measure is effected. The best way to prevent the spread of both is through spraying using the right chemicals. The first step is to establish which plants are affected, and then work towards controlling the spread. The state of Florida has initiated an integrated pest management (IPM). This method is an effort to initiate common sense prevention method. The best way to deal with this problem is to initiate control measures and not curative measures. Through the initiative of IPM, various control measures have been initiated. These include cultural method, biological, behavioral, genetical method, regulatory method, physical and mechanical method. All these styles work towards improving the state of forests in Florida. Successful implementation of the above will result in success in the forests and agriculture sector.

CONCLUSION

Information on forest pests and diseases should be taken s seriously by all the major stakeholders in the forest fraternity. Foresters, homeowners, agriculturalists and even landscapers should take these matters so seriously. The problem of insects and diseases cannot be over looked. It is true that trees get attacked from some insects and these end up damaging the leaves, trunks and even the entire plant if not prevented. The insects can also act as the source of diseases because they aid in the spread if the viruses as they move from one infected tree to another. All stakeholders should co work so that they can prevent the lives of these special plants.

Source

New York times (2008, October, 10). Forestry on the watch. Retrieved from: www. Newyorktimes.com.

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