Audio & Podcasts

Welcome to Forestcast

Produced and hosted by Jonathan Yales

As a daily weather forecast evaluates current atmospheric conditions and predicts if it’s likely to rain in the near future, Forestcast shows you what’s happening in the forests of the Northeast and Midwest, and where those forest ecosystems might be headed. From the forefront of forest research, the Northern Research Station invites you inside the largest forest research organization in the world — the USDA's Forest Service. In each episode, you’ll hear stories, interviews, and special in-depth anthologies of the science that's studying, questioning, and solving some of today's most compelling forest issues.

Season 2: Backcross

The Northern Research Station has scientists involved in all aspects of species restoration, working with numerous tree species, including American elm, American chestnut, several ash species, and more. The goal is to bring these species back to facilitate the recovery of healthy forests.

Special Episode: Field Note - Searching for Cicadas in the Chattahoochee National Forest

Mac Callaham, a research ecologist, goes searching alone in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest for one of Brood X’s most-southern cicada emergences.

Special Episode: The Two-sided Story of Periodical Cicadas

Any day now, periodical cicadas will emerge across 15 states stretching from Illinois to New York and northern Georgia.

Two scientists, one who’s tracked the aboveground movements of these cicadas, and another who’s unearthed the belowground impact of these insects, take you inside the many mysteries and forgotten elements of these evolutionary enigmas. Listen here >>

Special Episode: A Window of Resurgence for Red Spruce

In the 1970s, red spruce was the forest equivalent of a canary in the coal mine, signaling that acid rain was damaging forests and that some species – especially red spruce – were particularly sensitive to this human induced damage. In the course of studying the lingering effects of acid rain, scientists came up with a surprising result – decades later, the canary is feeling much better. Listen here >>

Season 1: Balance and Barrier

To kick things off, a special six-part series on one of the most significant environmental threat to our forests, and the scientists studying and combating these threats.

Jonathan Yales
Welcome to Forestcast, a new research podcast from the Northern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service. I’m, Jon Yales. And pretty soon, I’ll be bringing you stories, interviews, and special in-depth series on the science that's examining and explaining how forests affect our lives and how we affect our forests. To kick things off, we’ll be dropping a special six-part series on the most significant environmental threat to our forests. But, since I already have you, I’ll give you a sneak peak right now.
Jonathan Yales
Forests, in virtually all regions of the world, are being invaded — invaded by insects. Each and every year, two to three new insects invade, and attack, our trees. We call these insects “pests,” and they are probably the most significant environmental threat to our forests. From the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, comes “Balance & Barrier”, a special six-part podcast on insects that are invading, and attacking, the trees and forests of the Midwest and the Northeast. First up: the emerald ash borer.
Leah Bauer
I’m trying to avoid going into the swamp if we don’t have to, just because of the rubber boot problem. The boots get pretty helpful when you’re dealing with ash trees because that’s where the green ash lives in this part of Michigan mostly.
Jonathan Yales
Then, the gypsy moth.
Sandy Liebhold
If you have any kind of fear of insects, the gyspy moth tends to sort of bring those out because you'll have thousands of these hairy caterpillars crawling around. I love insects, and I've experienced a gypsy moth outbreak in my yard, and I have to admit, it wasn't fun.
Jonathan Yales
The hemlock woolly adelgid.
Nathan Havill
It’s really remarkable that these little tiny insects that have these long straw-like mouthparts that are about four-times the length of their body can drill those inside tree — through wood — and locate these storage cells and suck all the nutrients out for themselves.
Jonathan Yales
And finally, the Asian longhorned beetle.
Talbot Trotter
And, the value that’s been assigned to those trees is $669 billion — with a “b.” And so, this is just the cost that would be borne by these cities if the beetle were to spread across the landscape.
Jonathan Yales
See you soon! This podcast is produced by the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.