A Field Guide for Ground Checking Southern Pine Beetle Spots
Southern Pine Beetle Handbook
United States Department of Agriculture
Combined Forest Pest Research and Development Program - Agriculture Handbook No. 558 - Issued November 1979
Using the Control Priority
To assign a control priority using information gathered at the spot, turn to table 1 (see Checklist page). Four keys to spot growth (A, B, C, and D) appear in the left-hand column. For each of these, select from the middle column the classification matching your spot. Select from the right-hand column the risk-rating points for that classification. For Key A, for example, if your spot classification is "present," your risk-rating choice would be 30 points. Take one number for each key and add them together. This gives you the total risk-rating points for your spot.
If the total of risk rating points is 70 or greater, the spot is assigned a high priority for control. Risk totals between 40 and 60 indicate a medium priority for control, and totals of 30 or less signal a low control priority.
A Word on Control Priorities
Effective control requires prompt removal of the buffer strip and stage 1 trees. For large spots, this should be done first, then you can remove the other infested trees in the spot. Salvaging stage 3 trees is not critical to control, but can be done later.
Decisions on controlling SPB spots depend not only on the control priority, but also on the availability of crews and equipment, access to the spot, and market value of beetle-killed pine. If possible, high priority spots should be controlled promptly or they will spread, while medium priority spots can be handled as time permits. A low priority spot may need no control. Since it is uncertain what will happen in medium or low priority spots, you should recheck them every 4-6 weeks until they are controlled or become inactive. During major SPB outbreaks, aerial surveys are the most practical way to monitor uncontrolled spots after the first ground check.
Developed by the University of Georgia Bugwood Network in cooperation with USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection, USDA APHIS PPQ, Georgia Forestry Commission, Texas Forest Service
and the Pests and Diseases Image Library - Australia
Last updated August 2018
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