Forest protection as a discipline has always been crucial in forest research since the beginning. In late the19th and in the early 20th century, outstanding pioneers of forest research as Albert Ved1Bedő, Jenő Vadas, and Gyula Roth regularly published articles relevant to forest protection. Forest research including forest protection was stimulated again by the intensive forestation program started in the 1950s. As a result, the independent Department of Forest Protection was founded within the Forest Research Institute in 1960. The first Head of the Department was a dedicated forest pathologist, Hubert Pagony. The Department has always had a good relationship with forest practice. A major part the Department's activities is seeking solutions to the everyday problems of the forestry practice, including private forestry. Our researchers worked out protection methods against major pathogen and pest species as pine root rot, needle-cast, needle blight, pine tip blight, cockchafers, fox-coloured sawfly, oak Ved2defoliators, etc. Shortly after the establishment of the Department a Forestry Light-trap Network (Figure 1) and a Forest Damage Data Base were set up. Their nearly half a century long data series are particularly useful data basis for forest protection prognosis, ecology, and faunistics. Because of the new types of forest damage detected in the early 1980s, the Department established a network of long term health monitoring plots. At certain plots, data has been collected for almost 30 years. Besides maintaining and operating the systems mentioned above, we pay a special attention to current problems of forest protection, like outbreaks of gypsy moth, effects of climate change on forest health, and the emergence and expansion of invasive pests and pathogens in Europe. Our researchers disseminate their knowledge to practical experts of forestry, forest owners, students in 20-25 publications (also in prestigious international scientific journals) and the same number of oral and poster presentations each year. While originally the experts of the Department were scattered in different research stations in the country, the team is recently concentrated at the Mátrafüred Research Station. As both abiotic and biotic damage show increasing trends in Hungary (also many other countries in Europe), the importance and necessity of forest health research are also increasing.



Figure 1: Forestry Light-trap Network