Pine beetle wood comes from lodgepole pine trees that have been affected by the mountain pine beetle which has always been a natural element of British Columbia’s Interior forests. B.C. continues to look for ways to capture the economic value of trees affected by this epidemic.
Mountain pine beetles lay eggs under the trees’ bark. The beetles carry a fungus into the sapwood, which leaves a blue or grey stain. Usually within a year of the attack, the tree is dying or dead, its needles have turned red, and the beetles have moved to another tree. Normally, cold temperatures, forest fires and natural predators keep the mountain pine beetle in check. However, an abundance of mature lodgepole pine, combined with recent mild winters and uncharacteristically hot, dry summers, have led to an unprecedented epidemic.
While many trees have been lost, the epidemic is creating new opportunities. The timber can be used for anything from standard framing lumber to value-added wood products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels.
Provincial law requires logged areas to be reforested and managed for multiple values until the young forests are well established. This means that in areas where beetle- and fire-affected timber is being salvaged, forest licensees will be planting ecologically suitable, native species to grow in their place.
Courtesy of Naturally Wood: