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J Econ Entomol. 2004 Dec;97(6):1972-7.

Long-term benefits to the growth of ponderosa pines from controlling southwestern pine tip moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) and weeds.

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  • 1School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5018, USA.


The southwestern pine tip moth, Rhyacionia neomexicana (Dyar) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is a native forest pest that attacks seedlings and saplings of ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws, in the southwestern United States. Repeated attacks can cause severe deformation of host trees and significant long-term growth loss. Alternatively, effective control of R. neomexicana, vegetative competition, or both in young pine plantations may increase survival and growth of trees for many years after treatments are applied. We test the null hypothesis that 4 yr of R. neomexicana and weed control with insecticide, weeding, and insecticide plus weeding would not have any residual effect on survival and growth of trees in ponderosa pine plantation in northern Arizona 14 yr post-treatment, when the trees were 18 yr old. Both insecticide and weeding treatment increased tree growth and reduced the incidence of southwestern pine tip moth damage compared with the control. However, weeding alone also significantly increased tree survival, whereas insecticide alone did not. The insecticide plus weeding treatment had the greatest tree growth and survival, and the lowest rate of tip moth damage. Based on these results, we rejected our null hypothesis and concluded that there were detectable increases in the survival and growth of ponderosa pines 14 yr after treatments applied to control R. neomexicana and weeds.

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