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Beetle Kill Pine
What is Beetle Kill Pine (Blue Stain Pine)?
Using Beetle Kill Pine is Eco-Friendly
Most of us that live in states that have large forest areas have heard about the mountain pine beetle taking over and killing millions of pine trees. However, beyond that many people do not realize the environmental impact that this has on our ecosystem. Healthy trees play a crucial role in taking in carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis. When trees die they release the stored carbon dioxide which pollutes our air. With the massive amounts of dead forest that the mountain pine beetle is leaving behind, large amounts of carbon dioxide equivalent to decades of transportation emission is being spewed into the air.
The good news is that by using beetle kill pine for any wood project or construction, consumers can help reverse some of these environmental effects. When the beetle kill pine is harvested for manufacturing it prevents the carbon dioxide from being released and clears the forests for re-growth. Therefore, not only will homeowners enjoy the beauty if this unique organic product, they are also helping the keep environment clean.
About Blue Stain Pine (Beetle Kill Pine)
Beetle Kill Pine is the result of blue stain fungus that spreads from bark beetles to Lodgepole Pine, Douglas Fir, and Whitebark Pine trees. The blue stain pine fungus works symbiotically with the beetles by turning the tree wood into nutrients. Healthy trees would usually expel the beetles by producing resin, but cycles of warm weather have weakened many trees and prevented them from producing enough of their defensive resin.
A byproduct of the damage done by this hungry duo is a strong and beautiful piece of blue pine lumber that is streaked with a natural blue-grey stain. The beetles do not weaken or contaminate the wood, and the fungi is actually burnt away during the kiln drying process. Affordable, eco-friendly blue stain pine is all that is left behind.
Over the past decade forests in the Western United States have slowly been dying and turning from green to red. This is caused by mountain pine beetle infestation. These tiny culprits bore into the bark of trees and lay eggs stripping the tree of water and nutrients. Mountain pine beetles belong to a group of insects known as bark beetles. Although they are as tiny as a grain of rice, these insects can demolish thousands of acres in the blink of an eye. It is estimated that as of the Spring of 2013, all 19 of the Western States and Canada experienced the decimation of over 88 million acres of forest.
These miniature insects are an equal opportunity destroyer that comes without bias when choosing an area to infest. They will overtake wilderness areas, mountain subdivisions and backyards, and of course the pine tree. They have an insatiable appetite for ponderosa, lodgepole, scotch, and limber pine.
We supply beetle kill pine lumber and have it milled for flooring, siding and timbers. It comes with or without bore holes to provide you a clean or rustic look.
Give us a call and we can help you with any questions you have about using blue stain pine for furniture, ceilings, siding and more!
How Did This Beetle Kill Pine Epidemic Start?
Mountain pine beetles are not a new species and have in fact been around for over a hundred years. With excessive climate changes bringing about warmer temperatures these insects are surviving winters when previously they did not. When temperatures dip below freezing the mountain pine beetle larvae cannot survive. The pests are taking over our woodlands even though there are ways to control them. There are preventative sprays and pesticides that homeowners can apply to the base of pines on their wooded properties.
Unfortunately, there is no looking back now because as this epidemic continues to grow the population of mountain pine beetles is rapidly increasing and they have mastered the “mass attack” according to forest researchers meaning that these insects can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. With prevention efforts still in the early stages they may not even be able to keep up the swarm as it is.
Blue Stain Products That We Offer
We stock 6″ and 8″ V Edge Tongue & Groove siding and at any point have up to 60,000 linear feet on the ground. All of the boards on site are kiln dried. If you’re looking for blue stain siding in a different pattern other than the V Edge that we stock, talk to a siding specialist today. Whether you are looking for some of the most common choices like shiplap, channel or something different, we can help you!
We offer 4″, 6″, and 8″ wide planks for flooring. All of our flooring boards are kiln dried and custom ordered directly from the mill. This gives the customer the ability to choose any custom finishes such as- a straight square edge, a micro bevel edge, hand hewn finished face, a resawn face or a circle sawn finished face to add additional character to the lumber. The average lead time for blue stain flooring is 5-10 business days.
If you need different blue stain products for your project, we can help. We offer rough cut and smooth boards, from 2x up to 24x. We also source logs and poles for furniture or other decorative uses. For even larger projects, we can special order timbers, 6″ & 8″ wide slabs up to 36″ long and logs up to 50′. All of these products are air dried and are mill-to-order, averaging a 10-20 business day lead time.
Why is Beetle Kill Pine lumber eco-friendly?
There is ongoing debate about the best way to prevent bark beetle damage, but one thing is certain: it’s better to recycle the wood than to burn it and release more CO2. Millions of acres of dead trees must be cleared to prevent forest fires, and that is why there is a big push to make blue stain pine the wood of choice for new housing projects. By choosing beetle kill pine, you simultaneously get beautiful wood and help recycle some of the trees that will otherwise be burned.
How to utilize beetle kill pine?
Craftsmen and artisans across the globe have found multiple ways to display this beautiful wood. It is commonly used as paneling, cabinets, doors, and furniture. Beetle kill pine will remain beautiful without ever needing to add any additional stains or paints. Unfortunately, actual slabs of beetle kill pine are not naturally available. Pine trees do not tend to grow large enough to extract these large pieces of wood. Production for table tops and counter must be manufactured.
Purchasing is Eco-Friendly
It is important to continue to build awareness of the continuous plight of the mountain pine beetle for the sake of our forests. Harvesting and using beetle kill pine sequesters its carbon storage instead of letting it decay and adding fuel to the likelihood of forest fires.
Is it Economical?
Due to the over abundance of beetle kill timbers contractors and homeowners can purchase it at very low prices.
Where does Blue Stain Pine come from?
A lot beetle kill pine comes from outside of Colorado because our state doesn’t have many sawmills, due to its rugged landscape and inaccessibility. We try our best to source as much from the state as we can. Sometimes, though, the lumber does travel, but you can still save CO2 by using beetle kill pine because tons of it will be burned if not otherwise used.
How to recognize trees affected with beetle kill?
The first sign of attack are holes penetrating tree bark that are surrounded by sawdust. The are referred to as “pitch tubes” and remain visible for days after the initial attack. Eventually blue colored sap begins to appear on the outside of the tree after the beetles have completed their takeover. About a year after the attack the pine needles of the tree turn red, orange, and yellow which is why beetle kill forests have a red hue from a distance. After two to four years of infestation the trees turn grey and the final death process sets in.
What happens to the dead timber?
Eventually these infested trees fall, die, and become kindling for forest fires. However, the good news is that if these trees are harvested within 5 years of infestation these trees can be used for multiple products. One might wonder what benefit acres of dead timber could provide. The fact is, these beetles carry fungus underneath the bark that eventually turns the wood various vibrant colors often referred to as “blue stain”. The natural coloring that results presents in shades of blue, purple, yellow, orange, red, and pink. This fungus creates a completely organic unique piece of wood that has full structural integrity.
What about the fungus?
When deciding to purchase beetle kill pine you might be wondering about the fungus that is left after the beetle takes over. After the harvesting process the wood is put into a kiln. This is somewhat like a heated humidifier if which heated air is circulated and the temperature controlled for the purpose of reaching the woods proper moisture equilibrium for building use. This process essentially burns away the remaining fungus leaving it clear for manufacturing.
Will a swan board continue to turn blue once it's installed in my house?
The blue stain will not continue to grow because we kiln dry our blue stain to eliminate the fungi and leave structurally sound pine with beautiful coloring.
What’s in store for the future?
Higher than normal temperatures, bouts of drought, and poorly managed forests will continue to foster the mountain pine beetle into the future. The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Salvage Loggers, Sawmills, and private landowners have begun to collaborate to improve the health of our forests. Increased salvage logging, reducing forest fuels, and thinning prevention are among the top goals. Despite these efforts it appears that beetle kill pine will continue to be a highly available commodity.