Why Forest Health?

Forests are an integral part of life in Florida. They cover over 14 million acres, or about 50% of land area in the state. Products and services from these forests provide annual revenues of over $16.5 billion and 133,000 jobs as well as ecological services, such as water and air purification, that are worth billions.

Although tree diseases play an important, natural role in maintaining healthy forest ecosystems, they can also have a detrimental impact on forest productivity and can devastate urban forests. The continual invasion of our forests by exotic pests and diseases translates to a continual need for landowners to understand current science to manage these problems.

What do we do?

We work with county extension agents, the Florida Division of Forestry, Florida Division of Plant Industry, International Society of Arboriculture and other clientele groups to lead to positive change in how we manage forest health issues in the state. We do this by sharing findings based on our work here at the University of Florida’s Forest Pathology lab as well as relevant results of our partners. Our extension program addresses the following IFAS Extension goals and focus areas:

  • Goal I: Agriculture, Natural Resource and Food Systems (20%) Enhance and maintain agricultural, natural resource, and food systems. Focus Area: Protecting Florida from Existing and Emerging Pests and Diseases
  • Goal II: Florida's Environment (10%) Maintain, conserve, and enhance Florida's natural environment. Focus Area: Environmental Education
  • Goal IV: Sustainable Landscapes (10%) Create and Maintain Resource Efficient Landscapes: The Smart Way to Grow Focus Area: Commercial Horticulture/Urban Forestry Services

For more information please contact Dr. Jason Smith Email: jasons@ufl.edu Phone: (352)846-0843

Our Partners
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