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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

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Understanding and Managing Disease


The Northern Research Station has realigned our staff from 37 Research Work Units and Programs into 14 new Research Work Units.

RWU-4508 is now part of NRS-10, Biological and Environmental Influences on Forest Health and Productivity.

[Photograph]: Hybrid poplar leaf rust

Our Mission

We conduct research on understanding tree diseases so that we can develop management strategies and planning tools to achieve our goal of healthy timberlands and woodlands, plantations and urban landscapes. Our research focuses on invasive species, oak health in the Midwest, and diseases and changing forest management in the Midwest.


Invasive species

Nonnative invasive species (those entering from outside our region) as well as native invasives are threatening our forest resources. Current research topics on invasive species include prediction and prevention, detection and monitoring, management and restoration, and specific diseases caused by invasive pathogens. These include Sudden Oak Death (SOD), white pine blister rust, butternut canker, red pine shoot blights, oak wilt, and Armillaria root disease.

Oak health in the Midwest

Oaks grow on more than 5 million hectares of land in the Midwest and are important for wildlife habitat and wood products, and in landscapes. In addition to SOD, and oak wilt, current research addresses threats posed by Phytophthora species, oak decline, and urbanization.

Diseases and changing forest management in the Midwest

Forest management is changing, and such changes inadvertently create conditions conducive to the development of damaging diseases. We are developing guides and site-suitability models to assist managers of hybrid poplar plantations in avoiding outbreaks of damaging diseases. We also are studying red pine shoot blights and pine management to reduce losses caused by these diseases.

More Information

This site is under development as the Forest Service brings together the Northeastern and North Central Research Stations to form the Northern Research Station, serving the Northeast and Midwest. Check back often as we expand our site to reflect our combined commitment to supporting the natural resources and people of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States.

For more details about our research visit

Last Modified: 12/21/2007