How the tiny Southern pine beetle can wipe out a whole forest

The Southern pine beetle, pictured left, is 4 millimeters or less when full grown, but Alabama forestry officials are worried this tiny beetle could have a huge impact on Alabama’s pine forests this year.

There is good reason for their concern. A similar outbreak of Southern pine beetles that started in east Tennessee in 1999 ended up destroying more than $1 billion in timber in several states.

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