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Westport Tree Warden Warns Of Potential Beetle Infestation

The Southern Pine Bark Beetle has been spotted in Westport.
The Southern Pine Bark Beetle has been spotted in Westport. Photo Credit:

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Westport Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay recently was alerted to a potentially threatening insect infestation of several Eastern White Pine trees on Cross Highway in Westport, according to a press release.

Local arborist Ben Sykas, of The Care of Trees, contacted Lindsay about the location and potential presence of Southern Pine Bark Beetle activity on nine Eastern White Pines, according to a press release.

Claire Rutledge of the state Agricultural Experiment Station Entomology unit in New Haven confirmed the samples contained the activity and beetle remains of the Southern Pine Bark Beetle, according to a press release.

Infestation in all the Eastern White Pines on Cross Highway was confirmed and the trees were removed.

The recently discovered beetles found in Westport are significant because they are the first confirmed case of Southern Pine Bark Beetle attacking Eastern White Pine in Connecticut. Eastern White Pine ranks fifth on the list of tree species in Connecticut by volume, according to a press release.

The small Southern Pine Bark Beetle is the most economically destructive insect in the Southeastern United States, according to a press release.

Attacked trees are covered with small popcorn-like blobs of dried resin. If the attack is successful, the beetles lay eggs under the bark; the larvae then feed on the circulatory system of the tree and kill the tree in one to two years, according to a press release.

If you observe pines with the popcorn resin, please contact your local arborist or the state Agricultural Experiment Station at ctstateentomologist@ct.gov or call (203)-974-8474.

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