Spruce tree beetles are discovered in Kent woods
AN outbreak of insects known to target a particular type of tree has been discovered at several woodland sites in England.
The eight-toothed spruce bark beetle was detected at a number of unnamed locations in Kent and confirmed by the UK Chief Plant Health Officer.
While the pest does not affect human health, it can be a serious and destructive pest of the spruce tree species across Europe, although it generally prefers weakened or damaged trees.
It has never been discovered in the wider environment in the UK before, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
Smaller spruce trees, including domestic Christmas trees, are too small to be susceptible to infestation and very unlikely to be affected by this finding.
The forest industry and tree nurseries which supply mature conifer specimens are being urged to remain vigilant after the Forestry Commission identified a breeding population during routine checks.