Decatur, Jennings, Ripley, Union and Vigo counties now on list
They donít have a domed shape and they werenít made by a carmaker in Germany. They are a different kind of beetle and they can cause nurseries with pine and Christmas trees serious problems.
The Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of the pine shoot beetle in five additional counties. As a result, Decatur, Jennings, Ripley, Union and Vigo counties have been added to the list of counties quarantined for pine shoot beetle.
This brings the total to 60 of Indianaís 92 counties that are infested and quarantined under state and federal law.
Under state and federal quarantine law, all nurseries and Christmas tree growers in quarantined counties are required to have an inspection certificate before they can ship pine trees to non-quarantined counties. Spruce, fir, hemlock and other species are not affected by the pine shoot beetle. The growers should contact their local nursery inspector or call 317-232-4120 to arrange for an inspection.
Nurseries or Christmas tree growers that ship pines only within a county, or who ship to other quarantined counties, do not require special certification.
This week the DNR will send written notification to all licensed nurseries and licensed Christmas tree growers in the newly quarantined areas. Non-licensed growers are required to call 317-232-4120, to obtain certification if they ship into non-quarantined areas.
Local residents do not need to be concerned about the small one-eighth-inch long, black beetle, which lives in the shoots of pine trees during the summer months, and burrows into the bark of pine trees in winter. The beetles do not harm wood in homes, or structures of any type. They require live or very recently killed pine trees in order to feed and reproduce.
All Indiana counties north of U.S. 40 are quarantined. Clay County and Putnam County, through which U.S. 40 runs in the western side of the state are not yet known to be infested. A few counties south of U.S. 40 are quarantined although most are not yet infested with this pest.
This decade Boone, Clinton, Hamilton, Henry, Johnson, Marion, Montgomery, Parke, Rush, Shelby, and Vermillion counties were added in 2000 and Brown, Fayette, Hendricks, and Owen were added in 2001.
Each year, however, the pest advances a little closer to the Ohio River. If not properly managed, the beetle will rapidly reach to the southern pine forests of Tennessee and Georgia and other southern states, where its presence could cause millions of dollars in losses.
The pine shoot beetle is an exotic species from Europe. It was first reported in the United States in 1992 when it was found to be established in several Midwestern states including Indiana. Since its discovery, the species has continued to steadily spread.
Damage caused by this pest is usually limited to killing several shoots approximately 4-6 inches in length on a tree. However, in larger numbers, the beetles can kill already stressed trees and may in fact weaken and kill healthy trees when populations are allowed to get extremely high.
Additional information on pine shoot beetle, including pictures, may be found on the DNR Web site at: www.state.in.us/dnr/entomolo/pinebtl.htm.