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Long Island Fighting Spread Of Destructive Pine Beetles

Frank Eltman
A forester with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation examines bark from a damaged pine tree in the Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest on Long Island in 2015.

New York State will spend $500,000 of its environmental protection fund to remove and replace trees killed by southern pine beetles in the pine barrens of Suffolk County.

The beetles have killed thousands of pine trees since they were first spotted in 2014. They enter the tree through the bark and disrupt the flow of nutrients. The tree eventually dies a few months later.

The southern pine beetle is native to the southeastern United States, but is considered an invasive species on Long Island.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says the DEC wants to ensure the beetles do not spread to the Central Pine Barrens.