Providing practical information to help you protect your farm from biosecurity risks

Forestry pests

 

Plantation forestry | Plantation forestry pests | Forestry biosecurity practices | Hypothetical incursion | Plantation forestry quality assurance


The following are some key high priority exotic pest threats for plantation forests as identified through the development of the Plantation Forest Biosecurity Plan. Any of these pests would have serious consequences should they enter and become established in Australia.

Information about other pests of plantation forests is available from the plantation forestry industry page on the Plant Health Australia website.

Implementing biosecurity measures to control endemic pests will go a long way towards preventing exotic pests from entering and becoming established on your property.

To improve biosecurity measures on your farm, include exotic pests when undertaking routine pest surveillance activities. Ensure that all surveillance activities, for both endemic and exotic pests, are recorded.

Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae)

Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org

Lateral view of adult beetle. Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org

  • Small, 4-7.5mm long, dark or light brown coloured beetle
  • Lodgeole and ponderosa pine are the main hosts affected
  • Infestations cause the foliage of infested trees to yellow then become red

Fact sheet

Red turpentine beetle (Dendroctonus valens)

Donald Owen, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Bugwood.org

Pitch tubes on Ponderosa pine. Donald Owen, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Bugwood.org

  • Reddish-brown coloured, 7- 12 mm long beetle
  • Larvae feed under the bark of various softwoods including Radiata pine
  • Primarily attacks the bottom 3 m of weakened trees (e.g. after fire)
  • Infestations can cause tree death

Fact sheet

European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus)

Jan Liska, Forestry and Game Management Research  Institute, Bugwood.org

Larval galleries. Jan Liska, Forestry and Game Management Research Institute, Bugwood.org

  • Dark brown to black coloured, 4.2 to 5.5 mm long beetle with long yellow hairs on the head and body
  • Infestations cause needles to change colour and can kill infested trees
  • Spruce is the main host affected, but pine, fir and larch are also susceptible

Fact sheet

Giant wood wasp (Urocerus gigas)

Peter Lillywhite, Museum Victoria, PaDIL

Adult female. Note black stripe on abdomen. Peter Lillywhite, Museum Victoria, PaDIL

  • Large, 10-40mm long, yellow and black coloured wasp
  • Usually affects stressed softwoods including pine, fir, cedar and spruce
  • Larvae bore into the tree creating feeding galleries and cause significant damage

Fact sheet

White spotted tussock moth (Orgyia thyellina)

Larval form of White spotted tussock moth. Harum Koh, Flicker

Larval form of White spotted tussock moth. Harum Koh, Flicker

  • Medium sized moth with a wingspan of 25-40 mm
  • Larvae are up to 30 mm long and have distinctive white tufts of hair and orange stripes along each side of the body
  • Larvae feed on a range of hosts including softwoods and hardwoods
  • Larvae can cause significant defoliation

Fact sheet

Nun moth (Lymantria monacha)

Hannes Lemme, Bugwood.org

Adult female (L) and male (R). Hannes Lemme, Bugwood.org

  • Medium sized moth with a wingspan of 35-55 mm
  • Larvae are up to 35 mm long with a grey-yellow body and tufts of hair along the body
  • Larvae feed on the foliage of a range of trees including hardwoods and softwoods
  • High populations can cause significant defoliation

Fact sheet

Gypsy moth

USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Male (L) and female (R) adult Gypsy moths. USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

  • Lymantra dispar asiatica and L. dispar dispar
  • Very wide host range, with over 650 known hosts
  • Egg masses laid on solid surfaces and covered in light tan fuzz
  • Mature caterpillars are large (50-65 mm long) and hairy with two rows of spots (red and blue) along their back
  • Moths have greyish-brown wings (30-40 mm wingspan) in males or white with grey markings (40-70 mm) in females
  • Causes heavy defoliation and larvae may produce webbing
  • Can spread large distances naturally or with infested plant material

Fact sheet

Pine pitch canker (Fusarium circinatum)

Edward L Barnard, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

Symptoms of Pine pitch canker. Edward L Barnard, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

  • Fungal pathogen that affects pines and Douglas fir
  • Fungus causes needles to discolour and turn red
  • Infected branches ‘bleed’ honey coloured resin
  • Infections reduce timber production and cause tree mortality

Fact sheet

Daño foliar del pino (Phytophthora pinifolia)

Rodrigo Ahumada, Bioforest SA, Chile

Drops of resin at base of infected needles. Rodrigo Ahumada, Bioforest SA, Chile

  • Fungal pathogen that affects the needles of Radiata pine
  • Infection causes needles to die, causing the crown to become grey red in colour
  • Severe infections can kill young (1-2 year old) trees

Fact sheet

Red needle cast (Phytophthora pluvialis)

Scion, New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd

The needles of red needle cast are easily shed from the tree. Scion, New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd

 

  • Fungal pathogen that affects the needles of Radiata pine
  • Infected needles develop pale olive or khaki coloured regions with resinous bands
  • Infections can cause significant defoliation

Fact sheet

Western gall rust (Endocronartium harknessii)

Cesar Calderon, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Immature gall (less than 2 years old). Cesar Calderon, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

  • Fungal pathogen that affects two and three needled pines, including Radiata pine
  • The fungus causes the formation of woody galls on the stems and branches
  • Heavy infections result in suppressed growth and premature death

Fact sheet

Pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus)

USDA Forest Service - North Central Research Station Archive, Bugwood.org

Pinewood nematode infected Black pine (P. nigra). USDA Forest Service – North Central Research Station Archive, Bugwood.org

  • Nematode species that multiply in the resin canals of softwoods (including pine)
  • Infections cause wilting and rapid (often only 30-40 days after infection) tree death
  • Vectored by exotic Pine sawyer beetles (Monochamus spp.)

Fact sheet

Pine sawyer beetles (Monochamus spp.)

Photo: Jijing Song and Juan Shi, Beijing Forestry University, Bugwood.org

Feeding Japanese pine sawyer beetle, a vector of the Pinewood nematode. Jijing Song and Juan Shi, Beijing Forestry University, Bugwood.org

  • Large (up to 30 mm long), brown-grey coloured beetles with long antennae
  • Adult beetles feed on the young shoots of conifers
  • Larvae develop in weakened trees and can be detected by the presence of round exit holes
  • These beetles are most damaging due to their ability to act as vectors of the Pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus)

Fact sheet

Chrysoporthe canker (Chrysoporthe austroafricana)

G Pegg, H&FS DAFF Queensland

Swelling and cracking at the base of Eucalyptus spp. G Pegg, H&FS DAFF Queensland

  • Fungal pathogen of eucalypts
  • Infection on young trees causes wilt and dieback
  • Infections on older trees cause swelling, cracking and splitting of bark at the base of the trees. Cankers also develop on the trunk

Fact sheet

Sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum)

Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, United States

Twig dieback on Tan oak. Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, United States

  • Infects over 130 tree and shrub species
  • Symptoms in shrubs: blackened shoots, diffuse dark brown spots or blotches with fuzzy margins, starting at the leaf tip
  • Symptoms in trees: stem canker with red to black thick sap oozing on the bark surface.Stem necrosis leads to the death of whole crown
  • Spread with infected plant material, or water, growing media and compost that has been in contact with infected plants

Fact sheet

Teratosphaeria stem canker

G Pegg H&FS, DAFF Queensland

Lesions on immature stems of Flooded gum (E. grandis). G Pegg H&FS, DAFF Queensland

  • Teratosphaeria gauchensis and Teratosphaeria zuluensis
  • Fungal pathogen of eucalypts
  • Infection causes the formation of small necrotic spots on the bark
  • Necrotic spots develop into small cankers
  • Timber of infected trees is brittle and unsuitable for construction or sawn timber

Fact sheet