Suppression - Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Cost Share


Aerial view of a buffer strip to halt the spread of SPB
Aerial view of a buffer strip to halt the spread of SPB. Photo by: Ron Billings, Texas Forest Service

Basic Provisions

  • Must be an active southern pine beetle spot to qualify.
  • Stand should be at a stocking rate of less than 700 trees per acre for young stands or less than 120 square feet of basal area on older stands. If these criteria aren't met, stand should be thinned in the near future to alleviate this high risk situation. Landowners can apply for cost share with the non-commercial thinning practice if trees can't be sold.
  • Landowner cannot do a conventional salvage operation and get paid for removing the wood. If they receive any income from removal of wood, they don't qualify.
  • There must be a total of 10 acres of pine that could be affected if no action is taken. This total must be contiguous but doesn't have to be owned by the landowner applying for cost share (i.e. the stand could involve 2 or more landowners).
  • Standing green trees should be cut and/or pushed for a minimum width of 150 feet. The forester will determine the maximum width of the buffer and determine the acreage involved in the practice.


This practice is designed to minimize direct losses from active southern pine beetle attacks and prevent these insects from spreading to healthy trees. If the wood can be sold commercially, this should be the first option for landowners but timber that is too small to harvest or a small volume of timber may not make this practical. The best control measure in these situations is to cut (or push with a bulldozer) a strip of green trees in front of the infestation at least 150 feet (to be determined by your forester). Trees can then be piled and burned or left laying on the ground and this is often enough to disrupt the spread of the beetles to green trees.

Your GFC forester can evaluate the site with you and determine if your trees are being attacked by southern pine beetles. The buffer strip can then be marked and action can be taken to establish a zone the beetles can't cross.

To apply for this practice, contact your local county GFC forester (

Funding provided by the USDA - Forest Service