How does a bear know when it’s time to hibernate? Why do April showers bring May flowers? Plants and animals don’t have calendars or watches, but many of them take cues from the changing seasons. Phenology studies the timing of the biological events in plants and animals such as flowering, leafing, hibernation, reproduction, and migration. Tree people are really interested in phenology as it relates to tree leaves and the emergence of pests that threaten our beloved trees.
Hear straight from the source about Pheno Forecast maps so you know when the best time is to take action to most effectively control pest species that haunt our beloved trees in this guest post:
Pheno Forecast maps indicate, for a specified day, the status of the insect’s target life cycle stage in real time across the contiguous United States. Maps are available via the USA-NPN visualization tool and the USA-NPN website.
Sign up to be notified by email approximately 2 weeks, and again 6 days, before the predicted life cycle stage is reached at your location. You can also watch trees leaf out and bloom across the country using their data!
- apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella)
- Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
- bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephameraeformis)
- bronze birch borer (Agrilus anxius)
- eastern tent caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum)
- emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)
- gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)
- hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae)
- lilac borer (Podosesia syringae)
- magnolia scale (Neolecanium cornuparvum)
- pine needle scale (Chionaspis pinifoliae)
- winter moth (Operophtera brumata)
You can also report your observations of these pest species through the USA-NPN’s Pest Patrol campaign.
Help improve the maps! The Pheno Forecast map products are still in development, and your input on their performance in your area is very valuable. Provide your feedback.
Who is the USA National Phenology Network?
Funded primarily by the U.S. Geological Survey, the USA National Phenology Network is a national-scale consortium of individuals and organizations that collects, stores, and shares phenological data, value-added data products, and information to advance science and to support natural resource decision-making across a variety of spatial and temporal scales. The Network delivers free and readily available phenological data, connects researchers studying how species respond to climate change with managers who need this information to inform adaptive management, and creates a diverse community of stakeholders. The USA-NPN also hosts Nature’s Notebook, a plant and animal phenology observation program suitable for natural resource managers as well as nature enthusiasts of nearly all ages and skill levels.