According to a new report, the destructive Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) has made its first appearance in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) reported that the Southern Pine Beetle was found in Wallingford on March 17 and then in six more locations around the state. (Read the report here.)

The invasive species originates from the South and has worked its way north since invading eastern Long Island in the fall of October 2014. During the past decade, it has caused significant damage to New Jersey’s Pine Barrens. Officials are concerned the Red Pine, Scotch Pine and Austrian Pine will be vulnerable. The Pitch Pine is of most concern, since its habitat has already decreased due to development.

Officials will begin trapping the beetle in mid-April to see how well they survived the winter. There are concerns that the insect will be hard to control since Federal and State regulations do not dictate the movement and disposal of wood infected with native U.S. species, said the director Forestry for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in a report to NBC Connecticut.

The Southern Pine Beetle is small, about 2 mm in length. Pines attempt to defend against the attacks by secreting resin. Attacked trees are identifiable by small popcorn-like blobs of dried resin. Tree care professionals and homeowners can call the CAES if they see pines with popcorn resin at ctstateentomologist@ct.gov or 203-974-8474.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about other pine tree diseases, refer to the resources below:

  • Pine Problems: Get to know pines up close and personal to gain some insights so you know when you’re dealing with disease or something as simple as natural needle drop.
  • Six Pine Problems and How to Identify Them: A handy guide to some common maladies in pines, including photos and descriptions of disease indicators.