We are planning a three-day trip to learn various aspects of forest damage from biological agents and control efforts against them in Tohoku district, northeastern part of the main island Japan. There are extensive deciduous forests mixed with pine trees and cedar plantations under cool temperate climate. We will also visit some of the scenic/historic sites of the area with forest landscape, as well as damaged coastal forests by the tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

June 14 (Thursday)

First, we will visit Forest Tree Breeding Center (FTBC) of Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute situated in Ibaraki Prefecture. Here you can see a nursery of resistant pine candidates against pine wilt disease and how to proceed inoculation test for selecting them.

After the visit, we will head for Sendai, the biggest city in Tohoku, where we will stay for nights.

June 15 (Friday)

On the second day, we will look around oak forests in Yamagata Prefecture. There you will witness heavily damaged oak forests by Japanese oak wilt from Raffaelea quercivora, which is becoming a very severe epidemic in Japan. The vector ambrosia beetle is also found in SE Asia, Korea and Russia, suggesting this disease can develop into a pandemic in near future.

This trip will serve you, as a plant protection expert, a chance to learn about the disease that you should take care of. You can also see our trials to control oak wilt by silvicultural methods, pheromone trap, insecticide fumigation, fungicide injection, etc. You may find another type of tree damage caused by a scale insect, Comstockaspis macroporana, prevailing though the area.

In the afternoon, we can take a walk at Yamadera, one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Japan. It is constituted of scattered small halls or places of worship on a steep mountainside, connected with trails with 1,015 stone steps.

June 16 (Saturday)

On the last day, we will go to the seacoast area in Miyagi Prefecture. There was a long sequence of coastal forests, mostly composed of Japanese black pine and partly infested by PWD, which was devastated by the catastrophic tsunami on March 11, 2011. Although the tsunami washed away many of the PWD damaged trees, remained live trees have become weakened by the aftereffect and on the hilltop are still a lot of damaged trees by PWD that can be the source of infection. You can observe the reality of costal forest in such difficult situation.

Finally, we will have time at Matsushima scenic area, famous for its archipelagic scenery with pine trees. The pine trees in this area has been under strong protection against PWD by the local government, with insecticide spray to prevent the insect vectors from transmitting the pinewood nematode, and disposal of the damaged trees (mainly fumigation) to eradicate insect vectors within. Landscape here will show you a successful instance of controlling PWD. We will go back to Tokyo at about 7:00 pm.

back to the informations of the meeting