Nebraska: Treating for Mountain Pine Beetle in Western part of state
April 29, 2011
Forest officials are felling trees this week on approximately 500 acres of the Pine Ridge Ranger District in Sioux County to slow the progress of Mountain Pine Beetles. First detected in January 2010 on the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands, the beetle has already munched its way through thousands of acres of trees in neighboring states.
“Timing is important, and crews from other Districts are joining rank to assure affected trees are on the ground soon,” said Roger Keepers, Pine Ridge District Forester. “We’ll fell infested trees, limb them and then either strip their bark or buck them into two foot sections. This allows the tree cambium to dry which reduces likelihood of beetle flight and survival. Mountain Pine Beetle will never be eradicated, but we hope to slow them down,” he said.
According to Keepers, results are best when timber is allowed to dry as long as possible prior to July 1, when beetles are ready to fly and spread to healthy trees. Forest activities will continue as long as necessary. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call, 308-432-0300, for more information.