Pine forests in New Jersey see drop in beetle infestation, but problem not solved yet

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's not until the pine needles turn yellow and brown, and yellowish-white sap oozes from the bark, that the infestations come to light. South New Jersey saw their southern pine beetle infestation peak in 2010, when 14,000 acres were claimed by the tiny beetle's infestations. The past two years have seen a decrease, but that doesn't necessarily indicate that the problem will go away.

"The pine beetle to me is just a symptom of a sick forest," Bob Williams, vice president of forestry operations at Glassboro's Land Dimensions Engineering said. "The outbreak of the beetles is telling us a lot more than just 'we have a problem with beetles.' We need to do more things to prevent conditions that attract these beetles." Williams said that, too often, forests that aren't actively managed tend to become overcrowded, which puts a stress on the trees and makes them far more vulnerable to infestations.