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Species Page

sugar pine tortrix

Choristoneura lambertiana
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine)
Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine)
Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir)

List of symptoms / signs

Fruit - abnormal shape
Fruit - frass visible
Fruit - internal feeding
Fruit - obvious exit hole
Fruit - reduced size
Fruit - webbing
Growing point - dieback
Growing point - discoloration
Growing point - distortion
Growing point - dwarfing; stunting
Growing point - external feeding
Growing point - frass visible
Inflorescence - discoloration (non-graminaceous plants)
Inflorescence - distortion (non-graminaceous plants)
Inflorescence - dwarfing; stunting
Inflorescence - external feeding
Inflorescence - frass visible
Inflorescence - internal feeding
Inflorescence - webbing
Leaves - external feeding
Leaves - frass visible
Leaves - webbing
Leaves - yellowed or dead
Seeds - external feeding
Seeds - frass visible
Seeds - internal feeding

Prevention and control

Aerial spray attempts to control other members of the C. fumiferana complex evidently have not been directed to C. lambertiana. This is specifically because high-level infestations have been sporadic in time and space, and have not persisted more than 2 or 3 years (Stark and Borden, 1965; McGregor, 1970). Also, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), the principal host tree, is not of high economic value that would warrant costs of control measures.


Economic impact to forestry production has not been documented. McGregor (1970) reported that vegetative terminals in the upper one-third of the tree canopy of Pinus contorta were infested and all the new season foliage was destroyed during outbreaks in Idaho and Montana, resulting in top-kill of the trees after 2 to 3 years. However, trees were not killed, high-level infestations did not persist, and adverse effects on lumber use were not reported. In an outbreak in the Sierra Nevada in 1963-1964, Stark and Borden (1965) reported infestation levels of female cones up to 90%. This outbreak was localized and did not persist. Larvae were difficult to detect in the same area in 1970 and 1979-1981 (JA Powell, University of California, USA, personal communication, 2004). Whether seed production during brief periods (a few years) has any effect on forest reproduction is doubtful. Stevens et al. (1977) stated that heavy defoliation could cause severe damage to infested Pinus ponderosa. They observed persistent (at least 3 years) defoliation by Colorado populations of C. lambertiana ponderosana to kill shoots and cause branch deformity. They found severe defoliation of individual groups of trees but did not observe effects on broad forest areas. Ponderosa Pine is much more important for lumber than the other pines used by C. lambertiana.