A New Beetle that Might Kill Your Trees


I love the trees in my yard, I’m guessing you probaby do too. When one of them starts to look a little sick, it will scare me and I don’t blame you for feeling the same way, but there’s one beetle that’s starting to make its way into the state of Connecticut that will kill your tree and there’s nothing you can do about it.

It’s called the southern pine beetle, and it’s only the size of a small grain of rice. It bores small holes into pine trees, which restricts the flow of nutrients, eventually killing the tree. By the time you know it’s there, it’s already too late.

[Adriana Arango Velez, Ph.D, Department of Forestry and Hordiculture] There is nothing you can do once the tree is attacked. What you can do is if you have more trees, which is the case in this property you may want to apply some chemicals to avoid the other trees being attacked.

A strong signal of pine beetle infestation is the look of the tree. All pine trees release sap or pitch to fight off any kind of wound. In this case of the southern pine beetle, pitch coming out of the tree will be rounded to attempt to trap the beetle and kill it before it can infest the tree. In most cases, if you see this rounded pitch, it’s already too late and the tree needs to be cut down.

So we’ll cut the tree down, chip up all the brush we’ll cut the wood into thinner sized pieces and we’ll run it through the chipper.

[Doug Williams, Bartlett Tree Experts] If you have a forest and you’re trying to maintain this insect from spreading through the forest, you’ve got to make a big gap because they only fly so far. So you either have to clear an area around the infestation or burn an area around the infestation.

If you’re concerned that your tree might be infested with pine beetles, you can get it tested for free by contacting the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

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