SC Forestry Commission

Pine Beetles Return

$1.5 billion in damage in 2000

July 05, 2018 - 11:21 am

The Southern pine beetle has returned to South Carolina.

David Jenkins with the South Carolina Forestry Commission told The Post and Courier of Charleston that entire forests have been taken down by pine beetles in the past.

Jenkins says infestations have begun showing up around the Southeast. He says the outbreak could last for a couple of years. Experts say trees that have been weakened by storms, fires and a long drought are susceptible to damage by pine beetles.

Clemson University reported the last outbreak in 2000 caused about $1.5 billion in damage in the Southeast.

South Carolina has about 13 million trees with an estimated value of $21 billion.

Jenkins says pines on residential property are not likely to suffer, unless they are near a large, infested forest.

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