Forest Health 

Yearly Highlights    Common Forest Pests    Invasive Species    Personnel

Forest Health Overview

The Arkansas Forestry Commission employs qualified personnel who provide assistance to landowners faced with insect and disease concerns. We encourage landowners and timberland managers who encounter forest health issues to contact your local forester or the forest health specialist in
Little Rock.

Please use the links above to navigate to more information on Arkansas’s insects and diseases. 

Arkansas's Forest Resources

Arkansas's forests cover 19 million acres, more than 56% percent of the state's land area. The majority of the state's forested land, some 12.5 million acres, is in non-industrial private ownership, while approximately 2.5 million acres is national forest. Major forest types in the state include oak-hickory, loblolly-shortleaf pine, oak-pine, and bottomland hardwood. When managing this diverse landscape, landowners may experience several insect and disease issues. The Arkansas Forestry Commission aims to provide information to landowners and timberland managers on common forest health issues in Arkansas. Depending on the situation, action may be necessary to thwart any damaging effects to our forest resource. 

Historically, Arkansas’s most destructive forest pest was the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) (SPB). This pest has been rarely observed in the past 17 years. In an effort to keep the pest at low levels, thinning and appropriate pine management continues to be important in Arkansas. On top of preventing SPB outbreak, the use of thinning and prescribed fire is encouraged to maintain forest resiliency to other health issues. County foresters are available to discuss forest management plans with private landowners on a case-by-case basis.