Mountain pine beetles aren’t native to Minnesota, but appear to be headed this way. You may have seen the stories at the end of last year (November/December, 2014) as the potential threat was covered by nearly every major print and television outlet when the Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced it would be issuing a quarantine to help protect Minnesota’s pine trees (Pinus spp.) from this highly destructive pest by keeping it out of the state. The beetle is moving east toward the upper Midwest and research indicates Minnesota’s native pines – jack pine, red pine, and eastern white pine – are susceptible to attack and so are the exotic pine species that are commonly planted in Minnesota landscapes. The quarantine is intended to prevent the importation of mountain pine beetle from infested areas into Minnesota and went into effect on January 1, 2015.
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