The Phoracantha beetle has infested large tracts of snow gums living in high elevations above 1,600 metres, right across the Alps from Victoria to the ACT.
It is also affecting another species known as the weeping snow gum (Eucalyptus lacrimans), which only grows in a small area lower down the mountains near the town of Adaminaby in southern New South Wales.
Unlike the leaf-eating eucalyptus weevil killing ribbon gums (Eucalyptus viminalis) across the Monaro Plains on the eastern foothills of the Snowy Mountains, the wood-boring Phoracantha ring-barks its victims.
Death is slow. And no tree, no matter what age, is safe, says Matt Brookhouse of the Australian National University.