- Dearborn, Richard G.
Maine Forest Service
For all of its importance today, the spruce budworm first received recognition by scientists in relative obscurity when several moths collected in Virginia were described by Mr. Brackenridge Clemens of Pennsylvania in 1865. Although severe outbreaks of the species occurred prior to that time, it wasn't until 1881 (Packard, Fernald) that documented reports of devastation during an outbreak were published. In these and an amplified report published in 1890 (Packard) most of the accounts dealt with the 1878-1881 outbreak as it affected coastal, southern and central Maine and along the fringes of the "big woods." By 1883 many trees had died and the spruce budworm had all but disappeared. It wasn't until another outbreak occurred in 1912-1920 that great concern for the entire resource begain to develop and scientific studies on the budworm started to evolve. Since then, few if any forest insects have received so much attention or caused as much notoriety as the spruce budworm, also known to scientists as Choristoneura fumiferana.