The Southern Pine Beetle is a forest pest dramatically affecting the pine trees in Atlantic, Cape May, Ocean and Cumberland counties in New Jersey. The latest outbreak began in the Garden State in 2001. They generally attack pine trees already under stress. Galleries are created by the larvae as it devours the tree’s critical inner bark.
A blue-stain fungus is transmitted which stops water flow within the tree. This can kill a tree within two months after the initial attack. Be on the lookout for pitch tubes (small sap-like masses), small exit holes and/or sawdust on the outside of the pine bark.
Call a professional arborist for positive identification and possible treatment options if you suspect the southern pine beetle damage on your trees.