(WTVM) - Despite all the rain recently, we're still in an ongoing drought that's putting a vital part of Georgia's timber industry in jeopardy.
Georgia forestry commission rangers say the drought is making pine trees more susceptible to disease and insects.
Pine beetles feed on trees that are left in bad shape as a result of dry weather.
"When the bark beetle bores in through the outer bark, which is dead, and into the cambium layer, they makes galleries and lay eggs and the larvae actually girdles the tree," said Chuck Norvell from the Georgia Forestry Commission. "They eat that cambium layer and that will kill the tree."
Timber in Georgia is valued at more than a half-billion dollars a year.