It is rare that choosing wood to build with is considered helpful, however in the case of the Beetle Kill Pine epidemic, using this uniquely beautiful wood not only brings character and personality to your space, but it also breathes life back into our forests.
The weather of recent years has taken a toll on the pines. Normally the pines are healthy and strong, emitting pheromones that repel beetles and are strong enough to fight back with their resin, should a beetle ignore the tree’s signal. The dry climate has weakened more trees than what is usual, and while the beetle is important for helping to sort through trees and “tag” the ones not so healthy, the fact that so many trees have been struggling has made the beetle thrive while killing so many trees that our thoughtful and loving hand is needed to restore balance.
When the beetle finds a tree emitting the pheromone that indicates the tree is weak, the beetle bores into the tree and leaves a scent that lets other beetles know this would be a great tree to live, eat, and have young. Most of the lifespan of the beetle is spent inside the tree and takes a year to complete. The beetle, which is about the size of a grain of rice, burrows into the tree and create galleries which cut off nutrients from traveling through the tree’s vascular tissues. Healthy trees can defend themselves by pushing the beetle back the way they came, using their natural resin and creating pitch, but when a tree is too dry to produce the resin needed to fight back, it falls prey to the insect. The beetle carries a fungus that also affects the tree, clogging membranes, staining the wood and hastens the death of the struggling tree. The fungus spreads through the tree and makes it more palatable for the beetle. A byproduct of the fungus is that it changes the color of the wood in the tree as it inhibits the absorption of water and nutrients from the ground.
What Does the Beetle Kill Pine Epidemic Do?
Lately, this has left us with hundreds of thousands of acres of dead or dying trees, and while this is devastation to our forests and can put them at a higher risk for fire, we can be part of the solution to create an environment that encourages healthy forests again. The animals in these forests and the ecosystem need our help to reestablish a sustainable environment balancing vegetation, water, and wildlife.
By clearing and using the trees left by the beetle, thriving forests can grow, be safer from fire, and the live healthy trees can become strong by getting all the light and water in the area. If the trees killed by the pine beetle are harvested within five years after being attacked by the beetle, the carbon dioxide they have stored within will not be released into the atmosphere and will be unable to contribute to the greenhouse effect that carbon causes. The remaining trees will produce the essence of a healthy tree, and the beetles will move on and thin out.
The trees that have been affected by the beetle are unique and the wood comes in beautiful hues of blue, purple, brown, orange, yellow, red, and pink, left by the fungus that the insects bring with them. These pine trees are usable and can help create a unique space, with colors and patterns that accent your style.
It is important to find companies willing to harvest these trees and support the repair of our pine forests as well as being a part of the solutions. What an opportunity to help our environment, our economy, and enjoy a beautifully unique space to feel good about.
As you consider what company to go with it would be important to choose a company that has a Vision that resonates with your soul regarding the environment, quality, and beauty. Working with someone who can share insight to the benefits of using this wood, the options this wood would work for and if it’s right for the project planned can impact the final product. While price is important, an expert can help you decide what works for you and your family regarding the wood’s durability and beauty or the time frame that you wish to enjoy it!