Red Pine Scale was discovered in 1946 near the Hemlock Reservoir in Easton, CT. It is an insect, the Japanese pine bast scale, which may have been carried on pines brought to this country for the 1939 World’s Fair. It can be spread by wind—studies have shown the larvae can be airborne for at least a quarter of a mile.

A second insect attacking red pines, the red pine adelgid, was found in 1979. Both insects kill red pine trees within 2 to 10 years. No practical means of controlling them has been found, although they are susceptible to extreme cold and have not yet invaded the red pine’s native range.

By 1986, both insects were present at Mohawk State Forest in Cornwall.

Electron microscope image of a Hemlock woolly adelgid adult
Photograph by Kelly Oten,