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Pine Beetle Devastation in CO - Page 2

post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJQIV View Post
 

 

The difference is that heat from a fire did not occur. High heat is requirement for most conifer seeds to release and germinate.  The end result will be the regrowth of a different and most likely, deciduous forest or even conversion to chaparral. It also produces conditions that facilitate the large scale introduction of invasive species. This is the same sort of thing that happens with clear cutting without replanting.

 

There are a lot of areas where, if you don't then have a fire, you just get the stand taken over by other conifers.  But, having a period where an area of forest is given over to deciduous trees isn't necessarily a negative, simply a difference.  For me the main issue is not viewing the trees as a blight but rather a resource for different types of critters, and letting them stand unless you were going to harvest the tree from that area anyway.  They are probably more valuable ecologically than healthy trees.

 

They do also make very striking wood products as well, though.

post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

 

 

They do also make very striking wood products as well, though.

 

http://meierskis.com/

post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJQIV View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

I appreciate that beetle-killed trees are ugly at first glance.  But, consider that they are an important ecological resource for many species as well.  Great big stands of them versus a patchwork of them certainly raises its own issues, but basically along with the kinds of forest that are left after a wildfire, they are an important part of a healthy ecosystem.

So, I'd suggest people reconsider whether they need to be viewed as a problem at all, as opposed to simply a fact of life and something that some other species will benefit from.

The difference is that heat from a fire did not occur. High heat is requirement for most conifer seeds to release and germinate.   The end result will be the regrowth of a different and most likely, deciduous forest or even conversion to chaparral. It also produces conditions that facilitate the large scale introduction of invasive species. This is the same sort of thing that happens with clear cutting without replanting.

Um, point of order: most conifers aren't serotinous (requiring heat to germinate). Lodgepole, some spruce, and sequoias, yes, but not most. CT has a point - forest succession is inevitable and best accepted. There's even a pretty fair chance that aspens may succeed the lodgepole stands, which might just be lovely. Depends on the site conditions, but aspen generally require a sunny, unshaded location. You may notice in places that some older, decadent aspen stands are being replaced by shade-tolerant spruce. Forest succession is a fact of life, especially when climate change becomes a factor.
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

http://meierskis.com/


 Thumbs Up  http://mikeyfranco.com/  This guy has done some awesome topsheets on snowboards with beetle kill as well. 

post #35 of 42

http://carvesurfboards.com/quiver/ocean-surfers/  Another example of beetle kill for motion sports.  I suck as a woodworker, but am really interested how they deal with the knots on this stuff for either topsheets or for the construction on something like a surfboard.  Handplanes could be one aspect of surfing where the wood core could be allowed to show through, and it could still be done at a friendlier pricepoint and without really sacrificing performance. 

post #36 of 42

We haven't experienced much bettle kill in the RFV, but the Frasier area's really bad.

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

I appreciate that beetle-killed trees are ugly at first glance.  But, consider that they are an important ecological resource for many species as well.  Great big stands of them versus a patchwork of them certainly raises its own issues, but basically along with the kinds of forest that are left after a wildfire, they are an important part of a healthy ecosystem.

So, I'd suggest people reconsider whether they need to be viewed as a problem at all, as opposed to simply a fact of life and something that some other species will benefit from.
Clearly, you're approaching the issue from a scientific angle. I get it and appreciate the perspective. Another perspective is the one held by the guys who developed Granby Ranch and Grand Elk in Grand County, where the kill is the worst and spread dramatically during the time those communities were being planned. I suspect many people lost their life savings as the value of the property up there declined. A small thing in a galactic sense, but devastating for those people.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yo Momma View Post
 

Just returned from Wolf Creek, CO. The spruce trees in the area have been completely devastated by beetles. OMG it was heart-wrenching to witness. I fear for the entire zone when that eventually catches fire. It was tough to witness..........

I just drove through there over the long weekend.  There were a lot of dead trees, but they appear to have died a very long time ago.  Grey wood, no needles at all.  I saw essentially no trees in the throes of dying, like I do in northern Colorado forests.  It looked very different than the beetle kill I see in Grand and Summit Counties.  I wonder if what we see down near Wolf Creek is a historical infestation no longer advancing, or maybe a different reason for the damage entirely.

post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillCO View Post
 

I just drove through there over the long weekend.  There were a lot of dead trees, but they appear to have died a very long time ago.  Grey wood, no needles at all.  I saw essentially no trees in the throes of dying, like I do in northern Colorado forests.  It looked very different than the beetle kill I see in Grand and Summit Counties.  I wonder if what we see down near Wolf Creek is a historical infestation no longer advancing, or maybe a different reason for the damage entirely.

 

All those trees died in the last few years (needles were still green when I moved here in 2012), and it is still advancing. 2013/2014 had maybe 1 in 20 trees dead within ski area boundaries, but over the summer of 2014 the latent infestation killed off the trees and now most adult trees are dead. 

 

Saplings are faring much better- I think because they are younger and can sap out better, because they are buried under the snowpack all winter, or maybe the beetles don't like skinnier trunks. Wolf has about 10,000 healthy saplings, many of which are on cleared trails (they don't cut them down, even on cleared runs because the trees are snowpack anchors to moderate avalanches). They are in the process of moving many of those saplings to help the forest regenerate.

post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

All those trees died in the last few years (needles were still green when I moved here in 2012), and it is still advancing. 2013/2014 had maybe 1 in 20 trees dead within ski area boundaries, but over the summer of 2014 the latent infestation killed off the trees and now most adult trees are dead. 

 

Saplings are faring much better- I think because they are younger and can sap out better, because they are buried under the snowpack all winter, or maybe the beetles don't like skinnier trunks. Wolf has about 10,000 healthy saplings, many of which are on cleared trails (they don't cut them down, even on cleared runs because the trees are snowpack anchors to moderate avalanches). They are in the process of moving many of those saplings to help the forest regenerate.

That's really too bad.  It didn't seem to be as bad down in the valley near Pagosa, at least.  Hopefully it stays that way.

post #41 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillCO View Post
 

That's really too bad.  It didn't seem to be as bad down in the valley near Pagosa, at least.  Hopefully it stays that way.

 

Pagosa is under the transition zone and is forested primarily with Ponderosa Pine. The spruce beetle is the epidemic down here, so it should be unaffected.

 

There are already beetles in trees in Vallecito- so Spruce throughout the San Juans can be expected to die with it stretching from one end of the wilderness to the other. 

post #42 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

Pagosa is under the transition zone and is forested primarily with Ponderosa Pine. The spruce beetle is the epidemic down here, so it should be unaffected.

 

There are already beetles in trees in Vallecito- so Spruce throughout the San Juans can be expected to die with it stretching from one end of the wilderness to the other. 

That makes sense, and also might explain why the dead trees up above looked different than I expected.  I suspect, but am not sure, that the forests in northern Colorado are mainly Lodgepole and Ponderosa, with a little spruce here and there.

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