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forest health; insects and disease; pest alert

Pest Alert Squirrel Damage to Pines NA-FB/P-18


Flagging (dead branch tips) on jack pine and red pine may be caused by insects, diseases, or mechanical damage. In the Lake States, flagging is often the result of mechanical damage, sometimes girdling, caused when the cones are torn off by red squirrels.
Up to a three-year portion of the branch may be killed depending on where the cone was located. Drops of pitch can often be seen around the scar where the cone was torn off.

Pest Alert European Larch Canker NA-FB/P-17


The European larch canker, Lachnelluta willkommii, has been reported on native larch (tamarack) at several locations in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia , Canada, and Washington County, Maine. Some trees 3 to 4 inches (7.6-10.2 cm) in diameter have died from this disease, which can attack all species of the genus Larix and Pseudolarix.

Pest Alert Bruce Spanworm NA-FB/P-26


In the northern part of the USA and in Canada, the caterpillars of Bruce spanworm, Operophtera bruceata(Hulst), attack a variety of hardwood trees, but sugar maple,aspen, and beech are the favored host trees. In areas where these favored host trees are numerous, moderate to severe defoliation will occur. For the past two years, the insect has caused widespread defoliation in the New England States. Several hundred thousand acres have been defoliated in 1982/1983 with 330,000 acres in Maine alone. Usually, outbreaks last about two years before the population collapses.

Pest Alert Common Pine Shoot Beetle NA-TP-05-93


The common (or larger) pine shoot beetle, Tomicus(=Blastophagus) piniperda (L.), was discovered near Cleveland, Ohio in July 1992. As of this writing, it is now in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Adults of the common pine shoot beetle are cylindrical and range from 3 to 5mm in length (about the size of a match head). Their head and thorax are shiny black while the wing covers are reddish-brown to black. Eggs are 1 mm long, oval, smooth, and shiny white.

Pest Alert Hemlock Looper NA-PR-05-92


The hemlock looper Lambdina fiscellaria is adefoliating insect native to North America. It occurs in the eastern United States from Maine to Georgia and west to Wisconsin. The larvae can be extremely destructive to hemlock, balsam fir, and white spruce. During an outbreak it will also feed on many other species including: larch, red and black spruce, cedar, jack pine, paper and yellow birch, basswood, maple, elm, and wild cherry. Hemlocks may die after one year of severe defoliation, fir in one or two years.

Pest Alert Hemlock Woolly Adelgid NA-PR-09-05


Native to Asia, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) is a small,aphidlike insect that threatens the health and sustainability of eastern hemlock(Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana) in theEastern United States. Hemlock woolly adelgid was first reported in the Eastern United States in 1951 near Richmond, Virginia. By 2005, it was established in portions of 16 States from Maine to Georgia, where infestations covered about half of the range of hemlock.

Pest Alert Nun Moth NA-PR-95-98


The nun moth, Lymantria monacha (L.)(Lymantriidae), is a Eurasian pest of conifers that could be accidentallyintroduced into North America. Its establishment in this country would be disastrous because it feeds on a variety ofvegetation and can migrate and colonize a variety of sites.

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