spruce budworm

(Choristoneura fumiferana)

A moth native to eastern North America whose larvae defoliate spruces and other conifers. The larvae feed first on buds and last year’s needles, later on current-year shoots which they enclose in loose webs of silk. Defoliation is first evident in the upper crown, and in an outbreak large areas of forest can be killed. The spruce budworm is a potential alien invasive species in Britain.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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