A small worm is slowly eating away at dozens of Japanese black pine trees along the North Carolina coast.
The Associated Press reports that the trees are under attack in Corolla from pinewood nematodes, a small worm that attacks the root system.
Online pine disease research published by North Carolina State University also shows pine sawyer beetles spread nematodes from tree to tree.
Younger trees have survived by spraying insecticide around the root system. For older trees, the only recourse is to cut them down.
Dan McCarthy, a ranger with the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources, says not much can be done about the nematodes except cut down the infected trees and dispose of them. McCarthy said the pinewood nematodes aren't a major threat to other pines.