The southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis, is the
most destructive insect killer of pines in the southeastern United States.
The beetle inhabits Tennessee forests and causes thousands of dollars worth
of damage to stands of southern yellow pines. Eastern white pine is occasionally
attacked during an especially large build-up of the insect population.
Southern Pine Beetle Infestation in Tennessee
During 1999 and 2000, Tennessee had experienced the worst epidemic of
Southern pine beetles since the 1970's. Approximately 350,000 acres of
pine timber, valued at $358 million, has been destroyed since 1998. Of 69 infested
counties, infestations in 57 have reached epidemic levels. Salvage
operations have placed large quantities of pulpwood and sawtimber on the market,
driving prices down.
The chart below show the amount of pine timber in tons lost due to Southern
Pine Beetle attacks since 1972. You can see the impact of these beetle