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Pine Shoot Beetle

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Pine Shoot Beetle

Pine Shoot Beetle- Tomicus piniperda L. is recognized as one of the most destructive bark beetles of pine in its native Eurasia. During the summer of 1992, the United States first reported finding this pest in a Scots pine Christmas tree plantation near Cleveland, Ohio.the beetle had been reported from six states bordering on the Great Lakes. Pine Shoot Beetle is now in 11 eastern U.S. states, Ontario and Quebec. It attacks most pines, preferring weak trees.

Pine Shoot Beetle

Pine Shoot Beetle

Adult beetles are 3–5 mm long and cylindri-cal. They have a shiny black head and wing covers that vary from reddish-brown to black. Larvae are legless, curled, white with brown heads, and reach 5 mm in length. Adults under or within bark at the base of living trees.

The pine shoot beetle is native to Europe, but it is now found in the United States from Illinois to Vermont and south to Virginia. It is thought to have come to the United States with wood pallets, dunnage, and shipping containers arriving on ships coming into the Great Lakes. It was first recorded in Ohio in 1992 and was quickly found in other states bordering the Great Lakes.

Life Cycle : This species overwinters as an adult, either in hollowed twigs or in galleries at the base of the tree, emerging as early as February in warm localities to construct brood galleries at the base of the tree trunk. Development from egg to adult requires about three months, with adults of the new generation beginning to emerge in June.

Pine Shoot Beetle

Pine Shoot Beetle

The new adults are sexually immature and move into the tree crown to feed on the growing tips throughout the summer. The adults which overwintered also move into the crowns for what is known as "regeneration feeding." These individuals then move back into the trunks to construct new galleries and to lay a second batch of eggs. The adults of this second brood usually emerge late in the summer. In Great Britain there is usually only one generation per year; in warmer countries there may be two generations annually.

Studies by the Canadian Forest Service confirms that the pine shoot beetle completes one generation per year in that region and the northern United States. Overwintering adults begin flights during March in the Great Lakes area, when daily maximum temperatures reach 10 to 12°C and the daily mean temperature is 7 to 8°C. The adults can fly for several kilometers to obtain a suitable host. The adult beetles prefer to colonize freshly cut stumps and slash but can attack stressed living trees. The females excavate galleries, 10 to 25 cm long, under the bark to lay their eggs with the galleries more numerous on the sides of logs and trees warmed by the sun.

Pine Shoot Beetle damage

Pine Shoot Beetle Damage

After laying eggs in the galleries, the adult emerge and then die. The larvae soon emerge and feed in separate galleries 2.5 to 10 cm long from April through June. In May or June, larvae pupate at the end of their feeding galleries. The new generation emerges through the bark and attacks new shoots on pine trees of all ages.

The beetles damage the new growth by burrowing up to 10 cm into the pith. In October, the adults move into the soil or the base of pine trees to overwinter. While adults can overwinter in shoots in warmer climates, they must move under the bark at the base of trees or the soil in colder weather. Snow pack adds insulation in many areas of Canada and the more northern United States.

Damage :Adults undergo “maturation feeding” during the summer. They burrow into pencil sized twigs and tunnel through the pith. A 2 mm diameter pitch mass is formed, where they enter the tree. Attacked branches suddenly wilt or turn brown and flag. Due to the rapid removal of dead trees in the landscape, this beetle is not a common landscape pest. However, it is a quarantine pest in nursery and Christmas tree production.

Physical control: Place freshly cut pine logs or last fall’s Christmas trees in pine field. Beetles will fly to freshly killed logs, or stumps to breed. In May, remove and destroy all infested logs. They contain larvae that will become new brood adults. From June to September, remove and destroy infested tips.

Cultural control: The best strategy to pass quarantine inspection is to use a summer foliar spray in combination with either the February spray or the destruction of brood logs and culled Christmas trees during May. Infested trees cannot be moved from infested counties.

Pine Shoot Beetle

Pine Shoot Beetle

Chemical control: In February, treat all freshly cut stumps or logs with permethrin or carbaryl before adult mating flight on the first warm day in spring (above 53 degrees). Alternatively, use EC formulation of permethrin or XLR formulation of carbaryl at bark beetle rate. From June to July, treat shoots with permethrin. Biological control: In the Midwest, a complex of parasitoids and predators contribute to population manage- ment. In the US, a predaceous clerid beetle, Thanasimus formicarius, is being reared for release.

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