Can Infected Pine Trees Be Harvested?

Can Infected Pine Trees Be Harvested?

Photo courtesy: Joseph Benzel, Screening Aids, USDA APHIS PPQ,

Here in California and across the western United States, the mountain pine beetle (above) has been detrimental to pine trees. I have heard estimates that there are 100 million dead pine trees in Western forests. These dead trees pose a severe fire hazard and detract from the natural green beauty of the forests. My question is: What can the wood of beetle-killed pine trees be used for? And, if the answer is “anything and everything,” why are these trees not harvested and used? – Blair Tonkin 

Tim Inman: Why are the trees not harvested? My best guess would be the simple economics of it. Dead trees rot quickly. Getting them out of the forest selectively would be prohibitively expensive. Pine stands are typically not select cut. They are cleared wholesale and then the area replanted.

Chris Marshall: To learn more about the mountain pine beetle epidemic, here’s an overview provided by the National Park Service (click here).

Posted in: