The forest pest survey is a cooperative effort by Clemson-DPI and USDA-APHIS-PPQ to protect South Carolina’s forestry industry and preserve a safe and healthy environment. DPI field staff will visually inspect 35 forests throughout South Carolina for oak splendor beetle (Agrilus biguttatus), Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis), European oak bark beetle (Scolytus intricatus), Tremex woodwasp (Tremex fuscicornis) and Japanese oak wilt (Raffaelea quercivora). Inspectors will also pull water samples for Phytophthora quercina, the fungal pathogen that causes oak decline and root rot.
The forest and wood products industry in South Carolina provides $17.5 billion in income annually, ranking second in the state for value-added goods in the manufacturing sector. South Carolina forests make up 68% of our state’s total land area, totaling 13.1 million acres. CAPS survey efforts will help to protect these economically and environmentally important areas from intentional or accidental injury from exotic invasive species.
During a forest pest survey, inspectors examine host trees for signs of stress and decline as well as symptoms of infestation by the target species. Hosts for this survey include oak, maple, walnut, beech and birch trees. Many of the insect pests spend stages of their life cycles eating their way through the vascular tissue of trees, effectively strangling the host. For these targets, inspectors may look for egg-laying sites, exit holes, larval galleries and even sawdust as well as the insects. Infected hosts will display more generalized symptoms of stress such as leaf wilt, branch dieback, and epicormic shoots.