Beyond the Usual Suspects in Invasive Species Control: Detection and Control of Oak Wilt

Beyond the Usual Suspects in Invasive Species Control: Detection and Control of Oak Wilt, Ceratocystis fagacearum, in Michigan State Parks (INT)
Heidi Marie Frei, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Natural resource managers are all too familiar with the usual suspects in invasive species control including herbaceous and woody plants. Emerald ash borer taughtus that invasive forest pests, too, can have dramatic impacts on our landscapes with unclear ecological implications. Given the threat that exotic forest pests and diseases pose to our native systems, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has begun looking into the canopy to actively detect, protect and control oak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum), an exotic, lethal fungal disease, in parks statewide. From start to finish, this talk will walk you through the basics of oak wilt behavior and how some techniques, traditional and experimental, have been employed to evict this unwanted invasive guest from our forest canopies.

Heidi Marie Frei, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Division, Stewardship Unit
As a natural resource steward for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Division (PRD), Heidi enjoys linking volunteers with natural resource management and finding unique ways to educate and engage the public in protecting critical landscapes. Heidi works closely with volunteers, teachers and communities on habitat restoration projects in state parks and recreation areas across southwest Michigan and statewide to help protect trees as PRD's forest health point person. After receiving her BS and MS in forestry at Michigan State University, Heidi gained experience working with volunteers in the non-profit sector working on urban greening projects and, later, coordinating and implementing projects to protect and evaluate stream health in the Shiawassee River watershed. In her current role with the DNR, Heidi works with volunteers to protect prairies, forested dunes and unique ecosystems across southwest Michigan.