Pitch canker of pines (Pinus spp.) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco) (Pinaceae) is caused by the fungus Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg et O'Donnell. In California, infections by F. circinatum occur largely through wounds caused by insects. Field experiments were initiated to determine whether the colonization activities of twig beetles, Pityophthorus spp. (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), could explain the incidence of pitch canker on Monterey pine (P. radiata D. Don), Bishop pine (P. muricata D. Don), ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa var. ponderosa Dougl.), knobcone pine (P. attenuata Lemm.), and Douglas-fir. Asymptomatic branches were cut from each of four pairs of tree species (Monterey–Bishop, Monterey–ponderosa, Monterey–knobcone, Monterey–Douglas-fir) at four sites and attached to the lower canopy of both heterospecific and conspecific host trees (total of four combinations per pair). After 10 weeks, branches were collected and placed in rearing tubes in the laboratory. Emerging insects were identified and placed on a Fusarium-selective medium. Monterey, Bishop, and ponderosa pines were more heavily infested by Pityophthorus spp. than Douglas-fir and knobcone pine. Furthermore, more Pityophthorus beetles emerged from Monterey pine branches placed in Monterey pine canopies than from Monterey pine branches placed in Bishop or ponderosa pine canopies, indicating that reduced emergence (colonization) was caused by the hetero specific host. Relatively fewer insects emerged from sites containing either Monterey and knobcone pines or Monterey pine and Douglas-fir. Fusarium circinatum was not isolated from emerging Pityophthorus spp. Susceptibility of the five host species, based on mean lesion lengths resulting from mechanical inoculations, varied significantly. The longest lesions were on Monterey pine and the shortest were on ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir. The low incidence of pitch canker on Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine in nature compared with that on Monterey, Bishop, and knobcone pines may be explained by the low colonization by twig beetles and the greater resistance of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine to this disease, compared with the other three hosts.