The Beetles


In class the most recent video about Idaho potatoes and the beetles that attack them reminded me of a similar story. The Mountain Pine Beetle can be found in pine forests all over North America. They invade the less-healthy trees, like ones suffering from fire damage or where overcrowding is occurring. The beetles borrow into the trees and lay eggs, the trees try to defend themselves by “sapping them out”. The beetles have fungus that counters the trees attack . The Beetles attack all tress in the area in mass and kill them in about two weeks time. This is even happening in Oregon, but not as severe as in Colorado or the forests of British Columbia, where experts say 80% of the forest will be infected by 2013. The infected trees lose any value they would have had in the timber industry and become a very high fire risk.

R. Gullett


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    shermanj said,


    I did a quick search because I wanted to find some maps that better highlight the issue, and I found this interactive map of Oregon and another one of Colorado. When you see the amount of land these species are destroying, it is pretty impressive… in a scary way.



  2. 2

    Nevin Lewis said,

    Back home, we have about 8 acres of land with several rows of irrigated pine trees. A couple summers ago my parents paid me to thin the trees so they grow healthier, and one of the purposes of this was to prevent pine beetles from infecting our trees as easily. While thining out the trees had many encounters with these beatles and their larva. I thought it was interesting how these beatles burrow into the trees lay the larva and how the tree produces sap as a defense.

    Nevin Lewis

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