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 – producing what’s known as Beetle Kill Pine. 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.
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.
The Mountain Pine Beetle Cannot Be Stopped
Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for the wrath of the mountain pine beetle. The only treatments available are preventative and have no recourse after the infestation.
Like any living organism, the mountain pine beetle has a life cycle. For instance, many of the older adult beetles will pass after laying their larvae. Some beetles are killed by predatory birds. However, at the rate that these natural occurrences take place, they are not quick enough to end an epidemic of this magnitude.
Beetle Kill Pine Is An Eco-Friendly Choice
Even though the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic has a devastating impact on our eco-system, using Blue Stain Pine is eco-friendly as it helps clean up the mess left behind. Healthy trees have an integral role in taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis. After dead trees fall to the ground they begin to release all the carbon dioxide that they have stored during their lifetime. This pollutes the air and creates the well-known “greenhouse effect”. With the massive amounts of fallen trees that the mountain pine beetle leaves behind the amount of carbon dioxide being released is almost ten-fold. This is equal to decades of transportation emission released.
So where does the eco-friendly part come in? By consumers using Blue Stain Pine for wood projects and wood construction, they are helping to reverse this atmospheric pollution by creating a call to action to remove these dead trees. If fallen beetle kill pine trees are harvested within 5 years of its death it prevents the release of the carbon dioxide and at the same time creates space for new tree growth to begin.
Blue Stain Products That We Offer
Rocky Mountain Forest Products is proud to offer you a selection of Blue Stain Pine products that will take your interior and exterior wood projects to a whole other level.
We stock 6″ and 8″ V Edge Tongue and Groove siding. At all times we have up to 60,000 linear feet on the ground and available for purchase. All the boards on site are kiln dried and ready to use. If you happen to be looking for a different pattern than we have in stock, talk to a specialist today so that they can give you other options or help you find what you are looking for. From the most common looks to something more special we can find what you need.
We offer 4”, 6”, and 8” wide planks of Blue Stain Pine for flooring. All our flooring is kiln dried, ordered directly from the mill and ready to use. Custom ordering gives the customer the ability to choose any custom finish available. For example, a straight square edge, a micro bevel edge, a hand- hewn finished face, or a resawn or circle sawn finished face. All of these will add character and uniqueness to your final project. The average turn around time for Beetle Kill flooring is only 5 – 10 business days.
As previously mentioned, if you do not see what you are looking for in our yard talk to a specialist about special ordering products that match your specifications. We also offer rough cut and smooth boards from 2x all the way up to 24x. We also have the ability to outsource logs and poles for special projects like furniture or other décor projects. Larger timbers are also able to be ordered that come in 6” and 8” wide slabs all the ay up to 36” long. 50” logs are also available mill-to-order. All of these are also kiln dried and ready to use. Most orders are completed within 10-20 business days.
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.
Ideas for Using Beetle Kill Pine
Over the years woodworkers, craftsmen, homeowners, and builders have found many ways to use this beautiful product. Today it is most commonly used for cabinetry, paneling, doors, and furniture. It has become quite popular because it is very low maintenance because it does not require staining or painting. If you are thinking of using Blue Stain Pine for larger projects like table tops or counters slabs must be manufactured because slabs of this size are not naturally available. The pine trees that the mountain pine beetle infest do not tend to grow large enough for these cuts.
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.
It Is Eco-Friendly - But Is It Budget Friendly?
Due to the unfortunate ravaging of millions and millions of acres of forest and the fact that the mountain pine beetle is still going strong, there is no shortage of Blue Stain Pine available. This means low prices now and in the future.
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?
Some consumers have voiced concern over the fungus that is left in the wood after the mountain pine beetle has moved out. Not to worry! All Beetle Kill Pine is kiln dried which kills the fungus. This process is similar to a humidifier in which heated air is circulated at extremely high temperatures. The purpose of this is that this allows the wood to reach its proper moisture equilibrium for construction use.
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.
The Future Of The Mountain Pine Beetle
The mountain pine beetle shows no sign of slowing. And with higher temperatures across the globe the climate will continue to support the life and longevity of the insect. The focus for forest conservationists has turned to harvesting, reducing forest fuels, and regrowth instead of eliminating the mountain pine beetle.
This means a continued supply of Blue Stain Pine that will more than meet the demands of consumers.