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Washington State University

Forest Farmers – Engager: Skill Level Two

Forest Farmers

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What’s Eating You?


Objective: Identify a variety of invasive forest insects, diseases and conditions that affect the health of forests
Science Skills:  Identification, Collect Data, Compare and Contrast, Evaluate, Make inferences.
Life Skills: Wise Use of Resources, Disease Prevention

Preparation Activities:
Call ahead to see if you can schedule a field trip to one of the forestry sites.

What You Will Need:  field guides, books/websites on forest and human health (see Explore More)

Activity 1: Visit an ailing forest
Youth should be familiar with some common tree diseases of the Northwest. Schedule a forest to tour to learn more or see if they can identify symptoms. Check it’s all connected to tour local forests, and request to see diseased trees.

Additional Activity: Create a display about tree diseases you discover.

Activity 2:  Comparing Diseases

This activity is an exercise in making comparisons and thinking creatively.  As each youth to pick a tree disease they have learned about and then to search for a disease that humans can develop that has similarities.

Asking the Right Questions:
What are the similarities between tree diseases and human diseases? What do foresters do to control tree diseases differently from how doctors treat human diseases? What is the same?  Are there preventative measures in caring for a forest?  Are there preventative measures for looking after your own health? Besides insects and parasites and diseases, what are other threats to the survival of a forest?

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Explore More

Forest Health

Top 20 Diseases of NW Trees

Forest Health Protection

Human Illnesses


Interested in helping youth learn about this Natural Resource? Contact your 4-H Educator to be considered as an educational resource!