NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Forestry officials believe a rare beetle responsible for bringing an aggressive fungus to Red Bay trees has moved in to New Hanover County.
Members of the forest service found a tree impacted by the ambrosia beetle off of Highway 140, near the Wilmington airport.
According to the NC Forest Service, the beetle carries a fungus that spreads quickly through the tree's vascular system, preventing the movement of water within the tree and causing it to die within a few weeks or months.
Members of the forest service say the disease spreads fast and there is little to do to save the tree once it's infested. Additionally, the beetle, itself, quickly reproduces.
The ambrosia beetle, which comes from Asia, was first spotted in the United States in Georgia in 2002. Since then it's slowly been making its way north.
New Hanover County is only the sixth county in North Carolina where the disease brought by the beetle has been spotted.
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