George Henry Hepting Papers 1930s-1982

Creator
Hepting, George H. (George Henry), 1907-
Size
27 linear feet
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00169

Reprints and papers used by George Hepting in preparation of his book Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees of the United States (1971), as well as similar later reprints, Hepting's resume, and a few other papers.

George Henry Hepting (1907-1988) retired from the United States Forest Service as Chief Plant Pathologist at the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station in 1971. From 1967 through 1984 he served as Visiting Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the School of Forest Resources at North Carolina State University. Hepting did research on heartrot diseases of forest trees; the impact of fire scars, basal wounds, and stump sprouts on infection and spread of decay in many species of trees; the mechanisms by which trees restrict the development of decay and discoloration in tree stems; fusarium wilt disease of Mimosa; the role of mating types in oak wilt fungus; fungal discolorations in felled timber and lumber of southern pines; the impact of discolorations and decay on the strength of wood veneers used in military aircraft; rust, twig, and foliage blights; pitch canker disease of southern pines; sweetgum blight; the ineffectiveness of actidione as a control for white pine blister rust; development of practical controls for annosus root rot and for management of nursery diseases with fumigant chemicals; cause of a serious dieback disease of pines in New Zealand; aspects of littleleaf disease of southern pines. He also directed pioneering research on the role of ozone and other photo-chemical oxidants as causes of diseases in forests.

Biographical/historical note

George Hepting, Chief Plant Pathologist at the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 1, 1907. He attended Cornell University and received a B.S. degree in forestry in 1929 and a Ph.D. in forest pathology in 1933. Under the guidance of H. H. Whetzel, Hepting began to study the processes by which fungi and other pathogens induce disease in forest trees.

Even before completing his Ph.D., Hepting joined a cadre of scientists in the U.S. Department of Agriculture who were charged to protect American forests against disease. He rose through the ranks of the U.S. Forest Service from Field Assistant in 1931 to Chief of the Division of Forest Disease Research at the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, 1953-1961, to Principal Research Scientist affiliated with the Forest Service’s Washington Office, 1962-1971.

Hepting retired from the Forest Service as Chief Plant Pathologist in 1971. From 1967 through 1984 he served as Visiting Professor and advisor to more than 30 graduate students in the Department of Plant Pathology and the School of Forest Resources at North Carolina State University.

Hepting’s first research was on the heartrot diseases of forest trees. He determined the impact of fire scars, basal wounds, and stump sprouts on infection and spread of decay in many species of trees. He was the first to describe the mechanisms by which trees restrict the development of decay and discoloration in tree stems to "tissues extant at time of wounding."

He studied the fusarium wilt disease of mimosa and developed wilt-resistant genotypes. He discovered the role of mating types in the oak wilt fungus. Before and during World War II, he studied fungal discolorations in felled timber and lumber of southern pines. He also quantified the impact of discolorations and decay on the strength of wood veneers used in military aircraft.

Hepting pursued research on many rust, twig, and foliage blights and discovered the pitch canker disease of southern pines. His research contributed to an understanding of sweetgum blight. He blew the whistle on the ineffectiveness of actidione as a control for white pine blister rust. He provided leadership for development of practical controls for annosus root rot and for management of nursery diseases with fumigant chemicals. He resolved uncertainty about the major cause of a serious dieback disease of pines in New Zealand.

Hepting organized research teams to investigate different aspects of littleleaf disease of southern pines and stimulated both industry and government to provide support for these efforts. It took years to understand the many causal agents that were involved-- a complex interaction between certain soil conditions, feeder-root pathogens, land use practices, stand density, and a progressive deficiency of nitrogen that developed in many pine stands as the trees increased in age--and to develop management practices to address them.

Hepting also directed pioneering research on the role of ozone and other photo-chemical oxidants as causes of diseases in forests. His 1963 paper on "Climate and Forest Diseases" is a classic in both climatology and forestry.

He developed the first computerized system for information retrieval in forestry. His 1971 book on Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees of the United States provides a comprehensive encyclopedia of knowledge on these topics. He wrote a definitive history of efforts to control both chestnut blight and the so-called Dutch elm disease after they were introduced on the North American continent.

Long before the concepts of integrated pest management became fashionable, Hepting emphasized the need to integrate disease-hazard evaluations and knowledge of disease-development processes into economically and biologically sound forest management systems. He also championed the need for basic research as a foundation for practical understanding and management of disease in forests. His role in the Timber Resources Review of 1953 permanently altered scientific understanding of the nature and magnitude of disease losses in forests. He was co-founder of the Southwide Forest Disease Workshop.

Hepting’s achievements in science were recognized by many honors and awards. In 1969, he became the first forester elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He also received the Superior Service Award of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1954 and the Barrington Moore Award for outstanding achievements in forestry research in 1963. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters in 1965 and of the American Phytopathological Society in 1966. He received the Weyerhaeuser Award for Outstanding Historical Writing from the Forest History Society in 1974.

Hepting became an international leader and spokesman for forest disease problems worldwide. He traveled extensively and pursued research assignments in Europe, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and St. Croix. He also served as a consultant to the forest products industries of New Zealand and Australia.

Hepting died in Asheville, North Carolina, on April 29, 1988.

Scope/content

Reprints and papers used by George Hepting in preparation of his book Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees of the United States (1971), as well as similar later reprints, Hepting's resume, and a few other papers.

Physical description

54 archival boxes

Arrangement

The reprints are filed as received, chiefly alphabetical by author.

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], George Henry Hepting Papers, MC 00169, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Related material

Source of acquisition

Received from the NCSU Departments of Plant Pathology and Forestry through Professor Larry Grand, August 2007 (Accession no. 2007-0241)

Processing information

Processed by Linda Sellars, 2007 August and Cate Putirskis, 2008 February; Encoded by Linda Sellars, 2007 August, Updated by Cate Putirskis, 2008 March

The collection is organized into two principal series:

Publication Files 1930-1982
Size: 1 linear foot

This series contains Hepting's personal research files and reprints of publications he authored.

2 archival boxes

Miscellaneous Forestry Items 1978-1982
Box 1, Folder 1
Press Clippings 1960s-1980
Box 1, Folder 2
Resume and List of Publications 1960s-1970s
Box 1, Folder 3
Reprints of Articles (Hepting) 1930-1945
Box 1
Reprints of Articles (Hepting) 1946-1979
Box 2
Reprints 1930s-1970s
Size: 26 linear feet

This series contains reprints Hepting used for his research purposes.

52 archival boxes

(Authors) A-G
Box 5
(Authors) H-K
Box 6
(Authors) Hartley
Box 6
(Authors) Ko-R
Box 3
(Authors) Ito, Saito
Box 7
(Authors) S-Z
Box 4
(Authors) Aa-An
Box 7
(Authors) Anonymous
Box 8
(Authors) Ao-Av
Box 8
(Authors) Basham, J. T.
Box 8
(Authors) Bae-Baz
Box 9
(Authors) Baxter
Box 9
(Authors) Baxter (cont.)
Box 10
(Authors) Be-Bi
Box 10
(Authors) Bier
Box 10
(Authors) Bjorkman
Box 11
(Authors) Blew
Box 11
(Authors) Bla-Bra
Box 12
(Authors) Bre-Bry
Box 13
(Authors) Boyce, J. S. Jr.
Box 13
(Authors) Boyce, J. S. Sr.
Box 13
(Authors) Bu
Box 13
(Authors) Brown(e)
Box 14
(Authors) Cab-Ch
Box 14
(Authors) Ch (cont.)
Box 15
(Authors) Campbell, W. A.
Box 15
(Authors) Cl-Coi
Box 15
(Authors) Col-Cox
Box 16
(Authors) Cowling
Box 17
(Authors) Cr-Da
Box 17
(Authors) Da (cont.) - Do
Box 18
(Authors) Dr-Ez
Box 19
(Authors) Etheridge
Box 20
(Authors) Fa-Fo
Box 20
(Authors) Foster
Box 21
(Authors) Fr-Fu
Box 21
(Authors) Gaumann
Box 21
(Authors) Gaumann (cont.)
Box 22
(Authors) Ga-Gi
Box 22
(Authors) Gi (cont.) - Gr
Box 23
(Authors) Gr (cont.) - Gu
Box 24
(Authors) Gremmen
Box 24
(Authors) Haa-Han
Box 24
(Authors) Han (cont.) - Haw
Box 25
(Authors) Hedgecock
Box 25
(Authors) Hes-Hi
Box 26
(Authors) Hirt
Box 26
(Authors) Hoa-Hor
Box 26
(Authors) Hou-Ja
Box 27
(Authors) Je-Ke
Box 28
(Authors) Ke (cont.)
Box 29
(Authors) Kimmey, J. W.
Box 29
(Authors) Ki-Kn
Box 29
(Authors) Kr-Le
Box 30
(Authors) Li-Lo
Box 31
(Authors) Long, W. H.
Box 32
(Authors) Lowe, J.
Box 32
(Authors) Lu-Ma
Box 32
(Authors) Ma (cont.) - Mc
Box 33
(Authors) Meinecke
Box 33
(Authors) Mac-Mi
Box 34
(Authors) Mielke
Box 35
(Authors) Miscellaneous
Box 35
(Authors) Mo
Box 35
(Authors) Mo-N
Box 36
(Authors) Nobles
Box 36
(Authors) Nordin
Box 37
(Authors) Oa-Ou
Box 37
(Authors) Overholts
Box 37
(Authors) Overholts (cont.)
Box 38
(Authors) Pa-Pf
Box 38
(Authors) Pomerleau
Box 39
(Authors) Pha-Q
Box 39
(Authors) Ra-Rex
Box 40
(Authors) Rennerfelt
Box 40
(Authors) Roth
Box 40
(Authors) Rh-Ru
Box 41
(Authors) Ru (cont.) - Sc
Box 42
(Authors) Scheffer
Box 42
(Authors) Sch
Box 42
(Authors) Sch-Sh
Box 43
(Authors) Shigo
Box 43
(Authors) Shigo (cont.)
Box 44
(Authors) Si
Box 44
(Authors) Si-So
Box 45
(Authors) Sp
Box 46
(Authors) Spaulding
Box 46
(Authors) Stern
Box 46
(Authors) St
Box 46
(Authors) St (cont.) - Th
Box 47
(Authors) Ti-Ty
Box 48
(Authors) U-V
Box 49
(Authors) Vaartaja
Box 49
(Authors) Verrall
Box 49
(Authors) Verrall (cont.)
Box 50
(Authors) Wa
Box 50
(Authors) Weir, James R.
Box 50
(Authors) We-Wi
Box 51
(Authors) Wi (cont.) - Wyz
Box 52
(Authors) Wright, Jonathan
Box 52
(Authors) Wolf
Box 52
(Authors) Wolf (cont.)
Box 53
(Authors) X-Zh
Box 53
(Authors) Zentmyer
Box 54
(Authors) Zi-Zz
Box 54

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], George Henry Hepting Papers, MC 00169, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.