A number of forest pests vary regionally across the United States. Forest pest species that can cause significant damage include:
Pine bark beetles are a major pest for conifers throughout the United States and can be controlled through forest management practices. These include pine beetles (Dendroctonus spp.), engraver beetles (Ips spp.), and black turpentine beetles (Dendroctonus spp.). Forest management practices such as thinning can improve stand vigor and reduce susceptibility to insect attack. Also, some pine species are more susceptible than others. In the Southeast, for example, slash pine, longleaf pine, Virginia pine, and eastern white pine tend to be less susceptible to southern pine beetle than loblolly pine, shortleaf pine, and pitch pine.
Aerial surveys are the most efficient way of detecting beetle infestations. It is important to categorize spots which will aid in setting ground check priorities. Categories should include spot type: expanding spots are characterized by light green to yellow crowns; inactive spots are characterized by red-crowned trees or trees with no foliage and spot size. After ground checking, the highest priorities for harvest are given to those with the greatest potential to expand (i.e., the most active spots adjacent to a dense stand).
Salvage removal is the favored technique for control of pine beetles because some financial return is gained through the sale of the timber. When marking an active spot a buffer strip should be marked with paint or flagging the infested area. The buffer strip should be as wide as the average tree height and should be horseshoe-shaped and radiate in front of and to the side of the active head. The buffer strip is necessary to disrupt spot growth and ensure no freshly attacked trees are left. If the spots are too small to be salvaged (typically 50 trees or less), a cut-and-leave method can be used. Trees should be marked and felled toward the center of the spot. As with the salvage cutting, a buffer should be used around the active head.
A good source of information for forest invasive species and forest pests can be found at www.invasive.org, www.forestpests.org, plants.usda.gov, www.invasivespecies.org, www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/ and www.denix.osd.mil. Additional information can also be found on the Gateway Invasive, Exotic and Nuisance Species site.
Pesticide information such as labels and MSDS information is available at www.greenbook.net.
Sample Pesticide Application Record Sheet