Southern pine beetles create S-shaped tunnels beneath the tree bark, disrupting nutrient flow. Trees typically die within 2-4 months as their defenses are overwhelmed by thousands of attacking beetles. Photo via National Park Service.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the presence of southern pine beetle in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. A single beetle was caught in a trap. This is the farthest north the beetle has ever been confirmed in the Northeastern United States.

Considered one of the most destructive forest pests in the United States, the southern pine beetle attacks several species of pine including pitch pine, an iconic species of the Pine Bush and other pine barrens throughout the state. Trees can die quickly from repeated beetle attacks, often succumbing within two to four months.

Read more from the Department of Environmental Conservation.