Filipino authors

Pine trees at Camp John Hay need a doctor
Ips beetles were also found among pine trees in the city — and not just within Camp John Hay

File photo by Dave Leprozo

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – John Hay Management Corporation president and CEO Jamie Eloise Agbayani said that they are looking for a forest pathologist to contain the Ips infestation among its pine trees.

“This is a sign that we are serious in maintaining our pine forest within the John Hay reservation,” she said. “We need to have a tree doctor as soon as possible.”

According to the Colorado State University website, Ips is a common group of bark beetles that target pine and spruce trees. Healthy trees are rarely attacked by the beetle — usually trees under strees are vulnerable to the pest. 

Agbayani also said that they are completing the inventory of all pine trees within its 7,000 hectare reservation.

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) verified claims by JHMC that Ips infestation has hit its pine forest.

Dr. Horacio O. San Valentin of the University of the Philippines Los Banos in Laguna, head of the DENR monitoring team, verified the presence of Ips beetles among the pine trees in the city — and not just within the former American rest and recreation center.

File photo by Dave Leprozo

Valentin said they found symptoms of bark beetles attack including crown fading, pitch tubes, and boring dust among others, among the pinetrees. He added that an infested tree may still look healthy with green pine needles but the inside wood is already weakened.

“Pest outbreaks occur only when the number of Ips has increased to such a level that even healthy trees are attacked and rendered susceptible”, San Valentin said.

JHMC last year harvested some 62 pine trees with a cutting permit from the DENR and is currently waiting for the harvest of at least 136 Benguet Pine trees due to reported infestation of Ips beetle killing the trees. –