Pine wilt disease has devastated local trees for years, but authorities recently said that they were finally getting the upper hand. That optimism may have been misplaced. Workers continue to cut infected trees down, but they’re failing to follow through and actually remove or completely destroy the logs. As Mike Balfour now reports, that increases the risk to nearby healthy trees.
[slug] Hado-ri, Gujwa-eup
In (구좌읍) Gujwa-eup, Jeju City, hundreds of pine tree logs litter a field surrounded by live pines.
The pine needles and cones are reddish brown .
[slug] Cut pines pose threat to healthy trees
The trunks and branches are dried and withered.
They were infected with pine wilt disease.
Trees killed by pine wilt should be removed and disposed of by either chipping or burning.
But these cut logs have not been properly treated.
Pine sawyer beetles can transmit pine wilt from tree to tree.
The beetles lay eggs in trees in spring. After the eggs hatch, the beetle larvae bore into the wood to feed. The beetles overwinter as larvae.
In early summer the pupae become young adults and emerge to transmit the disease to healthy trees.
[slug] Healthy pine trees at risk
High summer temperatures are required for the causal pathogen to develop in the beetle within infested trees.
As summer temperatures approach, measures need to be taken to assure the untreated pine logs are dealt with.
Jeju City officials says that the office will investigate the wood cutting contractor and take appropriate action.
Recording Jeju City representative The contractor could have failed to treat all of the logs promptly. I’ll look into it. I don’t really know anything about it right now... <싱크 :제주시 관계자 > "자른 나무 물량이 많으면 방치할 수도 있는데 확인을 해보겠습니다. 잘 모르는 내용이라서..."
The island has been fighting against pine wilt disease for years.
[Reporter] Mike Balfour [Camera] Park Byeong-joon
The incomplete process of harvesting pine trees infected by pine wilt is raising concerns of a spreading infestation.