Clemson Extension Forestry and Wildlife

What’s Wrong With My Dogwood Tree?

Tree on the left has little to no leaves while the tree on the right is fully leafed out.

Dogwood trees (Cornus species) are one of South Carolina’s beautiful flowering tree species, blooming in early spring. Their white flowers can often be seen in the forest understory before most other trees have leafed out, and many people have them as a part of their landscape. But, sometimes, that dogwood in your yard might not […]

Tree Issues: From Conks to Cavities to Decay

white mushrooms growing on the main stem of a tree

Winter is rapidly approaching and as the autumn leaves fall, we begin to get a better glimpse of tree trunks and branches. Now is a great time to assess your trees and plan your winter pruning projects or perhaps even tree removals. December through mid-March is the best time to prune trees in our area […]

Summer Defoliators: Their Bark is Worse Than Their Bite

Tree with webbing encompassing several branches.

The leaves on a hardwood tree make the food, so it stands to reason that any loss of foliage would be detrimental to tree health…right? Well, not always. Unlike the impacts of girdling (phloem loss) which are detrimental whenever they occur, the impact of foliage loss depends on the season in which it occurs. In […]

How Your Forests Protect South Carolina Water

trees growing in a swamp

South Carolina is a diverse state, and the well-known slogan “from the mountains to the sea” reflects how varied the landscape is across the state’s 20 million acres. One feature that is common across all these landscapes is water. South Carolina has 36 rivers totaling almost 30,000 miles of waterways that can be found in […]

Invasive Pests in South Carolina Forests: Those Here, and Those on the Way

close-up of the metallic green emerald ash borer

The forests of South Carolina – like those throughout the United States – certainly have their share of pests. While most of these pests are native and typically only impact stressed or injured trees, several non-native species are present and established in South Carolina. And of those non-native species, a few are true invasives, capable […]

Understanding Your Soil Test Report

Bag of All Purpose Fertilizer 10-10-10

In Extension, we often get calls about why someone’s food plot is not growing as expected. While there can be a host of reasons why this is the case, the first thing one should examine is the soil pH and soil fertility. If the soil pH is not at the correct level, nutrients can be bound […]

Understory Foliar Spray Applications in More Developed Stands

Understory “carpet” of Nepalese browntop (pre-treatment).

Problematic plants and cost-share An expanse of mature or well-developed forestland in the southeast contains plant species deemed undesirable by landowners. Plants may be suppressing 1. forest regeneration, 2. preferred wildlife habitat, 3. aesthetics, or 4. simply hindering overall enjoyment of the area. These plants may be non-native, invasive species such as tree of heaven […]

Decision Making for Landowners With Storm-Damaged Timber

Loblolly pine stand with leaning trees.

Occasionally, South Carolina landowners experience storm damage to standing timber. When this occurs, landowners have many questions about what to do with their damaged trees. The following information provides guidelines for quick decision-making and priority setting. There are no simple guidelines that fit all situations. Damage after storms or weather events can occur in many […]

Benefits of Prescribed Fire for Pest Control

Brown spot needle blight looks like yellow spots surrounded by brown rings on pine needles. This fungus causes pines, usually longleaf, to drop needles. Burning your longleaf stand can help eliminate the fungus. Photo credit: Dave Coyle, Clemson Extension.

Prescribed fire is a commonly used management tool in both pine and hardwood forests in South Carolina. When used correctly, it has many benefits to forest ecosystems. Fire helps reduce fuels on the forest floor, which can help lower the chances of a wildfire. It helps recycle nutrients, making them more available to the growing […]

Invasive Species Spotlight Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Figure 2. Tree-of-Heaven flowers Image Source: Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration,

Take just a short drive down the road or interstate, and I bet you will have a good chance of seeing Tree-of-Heaven. In the last few years, I have really started to notice this tree along the sides of roads. I have also made numerous landowner visits where I have seen it on their property. […]