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Pine-beetle epidemic heading south ( looking for new trees to destroy )
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ^ | August 27, 2006 | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Posted on 08/28/2006 4:39:33 PM PDT by george76

Millions of mountain pine beetles are swarming the Rocky Mountains...looking for new trees to destroy.

The Colorado State Forest Service wants residents to help stop the spread of the devastating pest before the Pike and San Isabel national forests take on a brown cast like those in Summit and Grand counties.

"It's currently at an epidemic level," ...

Dead trees are a sign the forest is unhealthy; they also pose a fire risk. The U.S. Forest Service...

Trees are succumbing by the millions.

"If the beetle is successful in getting underneath the bark of the tree, mama mates and burrows up the stem of the tree, laying eggs every so often," Root said. "Those are going to hatch. Over the next winter and spring, they'll go through the life cycle and be ready to emerge as new adults next July."

As the bugs burrow in, they feed on the tree's "pipes" that feed it water and nutrients from the roots to the crown.

The bugs also carry a fungus called blue stain that clogs the tree's arteries.

"The tree will stay green until next June when it's ready to break dormancy," ...

"When it can't get water from the roots to the noodle, it's going to turn brown all of a sudden."

That's why people looking for infestations should target green trees, not brown ones.

If a tree is healthy enough, it will produce pitch, or sap, that gums up entries and pushes the beetle out.

But some aren't healthy. Signs a tree is infested include globs of tree sap that resemble popcorn, or sawdust in bark crevices and at the tree's base.

The best treatment, he said, is proper forest management, including thinning.

(Excerpt) Read more at summitdaily.com ...


TOPICS: Canada; Extended News; Government; US: Arizona; US: Colorado; US: Idaho; US: Montana; US: New Mexico; US: South Dakota; US: Washington; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: barkbeetle; barkbeetledamage; beetle; beetleinfestation; environment; forestdevastation; forests; forestservice; healthforest; healthyforest; logging; pinebeetle; usfs; wildfire; wildfirerisk; wildfires; wildlandfires; woodpeckersdelight
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1 posted on 08/28/2006 4:39:34 PM PDT by george76
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To: george76

Clear cut.


2 posted on 08/28/2006 4:40:35 PM PDT by Argus
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To: george76

DDT?


3 posted on 08/28/2006 4:41:32 PM PDT by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG-49) Freedom's Fortress)
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To: ccmay; CedarDave; SierraWasp; potlatch

" we're not going to see these bugs disappear overnight."


4 posted on 08/28/2006 4:43:43 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: neodad

Too many trees.

Bug juice might work for one tree after the tree is tented...

Very labor intensive for millions of trees.


5 posted on 08/28/2006 4:44:57 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76
My suggestion
6 posted on 08/28/2006 4:45:09 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: george76
The best treatment, he said, is proper forest management, including thinning.


Thinning Greenies...!!! Thought it was too good to be true.



When it comes to Greenies - call them what they are terrorists of a different color.
7 posted on 08/28/2006 4:46:21 PM PDT by Issaquahking (Trust can't be bought)
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To: Argus

--open pit mining fixes it too--


8 posted on 08/28/2006 4:51:04 PM PDT by rellimpank (Don't believe anything about firearms or explosives stated by the mass media---NRABenefactor)
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To: george76
--The best treatment, he said, is proper forest management, including thinning.--

--and it should have started about forty years ago--

9 posted on 08/28/2006 4:56:25 PM PDT by rellimpank (Don't believe anything about firearms or explosives stated by the mass media---NRABenefactor)
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To: Issaquahking
Let the greenies go eat the beetles.....
They're into natural foods anyway aren't they?
10 posted on 08/28/2006 5:01:57 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: cripplecreek

HOLY BALLS! Thats got to be 11BC chain they are using on there! There aint anything else that'd hold up!


11 posted on 08/28/2006 5:05:04 PM PDT by crz
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To: crz
They could have a series of Jackyl concerts.

Lumberjack

I wish they had been around when my high school gym teacher was whining about me listening to "That chainsaw music"
12 posted on 08/28/2006 5:09:58 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: cripplecreek; BluH2o; Carry_Okie; Liz; Grampa Dave

LOL.

I fell the need for the speed.

.


13 posted on 08/28/2006 5:31:16 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: rellimpank; colorcountry; ClaireSolt; Colorado Doug; girlangler

The Sierra Club is still fighting the foresters.

They still find weak, emotional judges to stop the foresters using science to manage the forests.


14 posted on 08/28/2006 5:40:45 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

Nature takes care.


15 posted on 08/28/2006 5:46:21 PM PDT by mojo114
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To: george76

LOL george, how did you ever get me on a 'buggy' thread? I did look up the pine beetle on Google so I learned something.


16 posted on 08/28/2006 5:49:06 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: george76

--they got quite a setback when Tommy D'Aschle got caught trying to turn loose South Dakota forests after the fires of 2001--


17 posted on 08/28/2006 6:05:35 PM PDT by rellimpank (Don't believe anything about firearms or explosives stated by the mass media---NRABenefactor)
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To: potlatch

"...how did you ever get me on a 'buggy' thread ?"

Because you are smart and...

8-)

Actually, because you posted on one of my other bug threads.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1671093/posts?page=2#2


18 posted on 08/28/2006 6:06:35 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76; ntnychik

LOL, I remember that now and I'll ping that friend again. Thank you george!


19 posted on 08/28/2006 6:10:24 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: rellimpank

Good memory !

That was one of the many double standard things that Tommy did that made me mad.

He got caught wanting SD to have healthy forests, but not for the rest of us.

I set Thune money to help throw that bumb out.


20 posted on 08/28/2006 6:15:40 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76
Parasitic nematodes might work as a control agent. (Steinernamatid Spp) Possibly parasitic wasps. They both parasitize grubs. Some parasitic nematodes will move around and look for prey. They Deposit their eggs in the grub, they hatch, the grub is eaten from the inside. They don't hurt animals or humans. Pine beetles are listed as a target population. (This variety of nematodes also take care of cut worms, white grubs and mole crickets too.) Unlike pesticides, which cant get inside the trunk, and has to be periodically reapplied, these biological controls reproduce as long as the food supply exists.

For a picture and information:

http://www.biologicco.com/orgpage.htm

and

http://www.vintagerosery.com/bugs.htm
21 posted on 08/28/2006 6:42:40 PM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission

Later reference.


22 posted on 08/28/2006 6:47:33 PM PDT by OKSooner
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission; forester; HairOfTheDog

Wow.

Will Parasitic nematodes work as a control agent for millions of trees ?

Forester is good at this stuff.

.


23 posted on 08/28/2006 6:52:02 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

I suppose that if you are willing to spend the money to buy them and spray them. Some lab has to raise them first. You need to spray them on at some time when the bark is wet or they just dry up. Maybe forester has some idea.


24 posted on 08/28/2006 7:08:12 PM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission; george76
Interesting post, thank you. I do have a few questions though.

AFIK, there is no such thing as a biocontrol that destroys its host. It can reduce an infestation, but will help only if the trees are capable of fighting back. Given the usual USFS ridiculous stand density, it is unlikely that these trees are in very good condition. Is that the case in this instance?

I didn't note from the article, but are these Afghan pine beetles? If they are, they should be eradicated if possible, not merely treated.

Thinning the forest can reduce the water competition that seriously degrades the sap flow that the tree uses to defend itself from beetle attack. I note you didn't mention that. Why not? Wouldn't a selective thinning, removal of infested trees, and low-temperature burn help the trees fight back?

Finally, one would need an enormous count of these worms to do serious damage to an advanced infestation (which, because of the bureaucratic delay inherent to government forest management, this probably is), isn't what you are describing more appropriate to preventative and early treatment rather than an advanced case?

Thanks.

25 posted on 08/28/2006 7:15:18 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
I watched these beetles destroy the pines and piñons of the Big Bend National Park then a few years later I watched them destroy almost all the piñons of New Mexico. They have to be stopped in the early phases; once they are established, the forests are generally goners.

Rain helps. The trees fight the beetles by secreting sap. No rain means little sap and the beetles win.

I did lose 13 or 14 trees in my yard in New Mexico in just a couple of months. (FEMA removed them though but I had to promise not to plant evergreens, only deciduous.)

Say goodbye to the trees.
26 posted on 08/28/2006 7:15:44 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission

You made a great find....

IMO.

Thank you for passing it on to us.

Hopefully this is another partial solution to this mess.

On a similar topic, I have read that the scientific community has found a beetle that eats Tamarisk ( aka Salt Cedar ). This is an imported plant/tree that has been messing with our water supply, rivers, lakes...and hurting native trees like Cottonwoods...and hurting native wildlife.

Some beetles are killed by ants, but I understand that these beetle are doing well against the Tamarisks.

Do you have any further information on these beetles ?


27 posted on 08/28/2006 7:18:59 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission; forester
I suppose that if you are willing to spend the money to buy them and spray them.

I would think spraying worms would have to be a low shear application which might preclude aerial spraying (also significant oxidation during deposition). I have read about ground spray application of nematodes but not by air. Do you know about this?

28 posted on 08/28/2006 7:26:09 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Is the best option for a "healthy forest" ( now ) to remove as many dying trees that are infested as soon as possible ?

I understand that to help pay for the clean up, it is best to do it promptly to keep the economic value of the dead trees higher.

If the mills and loggers can make money, then the forest clean up will not cost the taxpayers as much money.


29 posted on 08/28/2006 7:44:00 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76
British Columbia Canada is really infested too.

The mills and loggers have not had an easy time making money off of pine beetle wood (I think the heavy blue staining that is present in the lumber is OK structurally up to a point).

One of the better plans I have heard is to harvest the trees and make wood pellets for pellet stoves because that wood is going to burn anyhow.

30 posted on 08/28/2006 8:35:15 PM PDT by concrete is my business (place, consolidate, finish)
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To: george76

The gall of judges just amazes me. There is no subject that is outside their field of expertise.


31 posted on 08/28/2006 8:48:03 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: george76

Controlled burn.


32 posted on 08/28/2006 8:50:53 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: george76

I lost three of these pines to these things and you don't know it until they are already too far gone. I've got one left. And the bad thing is that the trees have to come down immediately or they can break in the middle and land on your house. That's why it is dangerous to build your house in the middle of a pine forrest. This was is in East Texas.


33 posted on 08/28/2006 8:53:26 PM PDT by RichardW
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To: george76
Is the best option for a "healthy forest" ( now ) to remove as many dying trees that are infested as soon as possible ?

"Best" usually varies by location. I don't pretend expertise.

I understand that to help pay for the clean up, it is best to do it promptly to keep the economic value of the dead trees higher.

This is true of dead trees generally, but I would expect redwood and cedar are exceptions.

If the mills and loggers can make money, then the forest clean up will not cost the taxpayers as much money.

The sad part is that loggers are now few and far between. It may have something to do with being unemployed six months a year due to regulations.

34 posted on 08/28/2006 8:58:49 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: concrete is my business

Adult mountain pine beetles prefer large diameter trees, according to the Canadian Forest Service.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1684085/posts


35 posted on 08/28/2006 9:43:45 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: RichardW

Removing big dead trees near your home is an excellent idea.

Building a defensible area around your home is also a good idea for fire protection. The local fire dept should offer some good ideas.

Sorry about your three trees. Hopefully you made lumber or firewood from them.


36 posted on 08/28/2006 9:48:45 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: potlatch; george76

Dr. Bug and I were happy to see selective logging in the Black Hills of S.D. last week. Also, the "fuel" on the forest floor is being stacked up in teepee shapes, to be controlled burned in the winter. The forest was beautiful. Dr. Bug attributes the pine beetle problem in other states to drought.


37 posted on 08/28/2006 10:10:18 PM PDT by ntnychik
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To: george76

38 posted on 08/29/2006 8:24:56 AM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Carry_Okie; george76; doctor; Doctor Stochastic; forester; HairOfTheDog
Thanks to all for responding. To be clear about my expertise, I am a gardener, not an entomologist not a forester.

I used predatory nematodes ("PN") in my garden, my lawns and on my pine trees. The white grubs were almost eliminated from the garden. (Visual census comparing the first year tilling with the 2nd and 3rd year tilling.) I don't currently have problems with lawn grubs. This area has problems with pine borers so I sprayed as a preventative. The trees look better than they have in years but I can't tell you with certainty that they were suffering from an infestation to begin with. I do note that the sites linked to above specifically list pine borers as a controlled pest

"Given the usual USFS ridiculous stand density, it is unlikely that these trees are in very good condition...
Thinning the forest can reduce the water competition that seriously degrades the sap flow that the tree uses to defend itself from beetle attack. I note you didn't mention that. Why not? Wouldn't a selective thinning, removal of infested trees, and low-temperature burn help the trees fight back?"

I would think that use of PN does not take the place of good forest management. Monoculture and crowding of stands of lumber or fields of vegetables favors insect and disease transmission. They should thin crowded stands. We should hang on to some old growth, but I don't have a problem raising trees for or using lumber. (From a carpenter's son, and former carpenter and cabinet maker.) Again, PN is a biological control, I doubt that either it or any chemical controls would be 100 percent effective. At some point a forest may be so badly damaged that it should be clear cut or burned.

"are these Afghan pine beetles"

Mountain pine beetles according to the article.

Re aerial application, oxidation, etc;

For gardens and lawns PN is supposed to be sprayed in low light, high moisture, and cooler temperature conditions. PN survive well in highly oxygenated water. You are instructed to water them into lawns after applications. Before I sprayed my pine trees I sprayed down the bark as high as I could reach while standing on a ladder. I cant provide specs on aerial application, but I would guess that cloudy conditions at the end of a rainy day would be the best conditions. This is probably something that forest management experts should discuss with the bio labs that raise PN.

"one would need an enormous count of these worms to do serious damage to an advanced infestation."

I suppose--not know--that since the nematodes are parasitizing the grubs that their numbers will increase to match the available food source. They may not do well in dry or extremely cold conditions, which could suppress their numbers.

Hopefully this, or some other control measure will be effective.
39 posted on 08/29/2006 8:38:24 AM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission

You sound like a knowledgable gardner.
How do I get rid of the crickets in my yard?


40 posted on 08/29/2006 8:45:24 AM PDT by calljack (Sometimes your worst nightmare is just a start.)
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To: george76
The best treatment, he said, is proper forest management, including thinning.

* GASP! *

You mean, we're supposed to cut down trees? But cutting down trees will destroy the planet!

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh.....

41 posted on 08/29/2006 8:47:43 AM PDT by TChris (Banning DDT wasn't about birds. It was about power.)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission; GladesGuru; Ben Ficklin
I am a gardener, not an entomologist not a forester.

It sounded like it (which is not a perjorative); I'm a sort of cross between the two.

"one would need an enormous count of these worms to do serious damage to an advanced infestation."

The point is that the beetles are propagating without nematodes while the nematodes can't propagate without beetles to eat. Mathematically that means they cannot eradicate but can only control a population.

I suppose--not know--that since the nematodes are parasitizing the grubs that their numbers will increase to match the available food source.

How effective this will be depends upon how far behind the curve one is when the nematodes are applied (breeding rate of nematodes v. beetles). It's a question of economics. I doubt that the nematodes are very good at moving large distances to find a new host without drying out or starving (which would of course, constitute nematode-cruelty; where's PETA when you need them? ;-), so, to be an effective control, one would need to cover the tree with only a few beetles in it to eat, which is an inefficient means of preventative control. If one waits until there are enough beetles to feed and propagate nematodes you are already behind the curve. IOW, it may work in your yard where you value highly each tree, but I question whether it is an economical control process on a landscape scale.

Good response, thank you. I value first-hand experience highly.

42 posted on 08/29/2006 9:20:18 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: george76

These bugs have already been south and done a lot of damage--if the trees have had plenty of water they can often survive.


43 posted on 08/29/2006 10:46:52 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: george76

I dug a couple out of my Austrian pine in my backyard, I'm in the SE Corner of WA state, close to the Idaho border... I'm going to have to get rid of the tree, it's a mess.


44 posted on 08/29/2006 1:30:48 PM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: Mamzelle

The Sierra Club lawyers are still filing lawsuits to prevent foresters from using science to solve these problems.

It is so bad now, that the options are very limited.


45 posted on 08/29/2006 3:50:01 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: MD_Willington_1976

It is too bad to lose favorite trees.

To get rid of all the bugs is really tough as they are so small, they hide in branches of removed trees, and they hide in healthy looking trees.


46 posted on 08/29/2006 3:54:09 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

the trees have gotten so thick and crowded that they're weak and susceptible to attack.


47 posted on 08/29/2006 4:08:37 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Carry_Okie
Thank you, happy to share it!

"The point is that the beetles are propagating without nematodes while the nematodes can't propagate without beetles to eat."

I would need more knowledge of entomology and the ecology of pine forests to respond. I know that the labs that produce them feed them on meal worms. They do not feed exclusively on pine borer grubs so this may not necessarily be true provided there is something else to eat somewhere on the tree (Pine sawyer larvae?).

"Mathematically that means they cannot eradicate but can only control a population."

In a true wilderness setting this might not be an issue. Some trees may die, and insect and woodpecker damage is tolerated. Hard to say how it would work for forestry purposes. It might be interesting to do a search and see if there have been any field trials of PN in large tracts of loggable timber.

(I wonder if BT would work on these grubs? Well, maybe for another thread...)
48 posted on 08/29/2006 7:17:44 PM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
It might be interesting to do a search and see if there have been any field trials of PN in large tracts of loggable timber.

I did. I didn't find much that wasn't mixed in with a lot of other unrelated material.

49 posted on 08/29/2006 7:21:18 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission; Carry_Okie; george76; doctor; Doctor Stochastic; HairOfTheDog

Interesting thread re: predatory nematodes.

It boils down to money. There are millions of acres of overstocked timberlands. We scarcely have the money to treat the trees in the campgrounds. (yes, I have seen men in bunny suits spray high value campground trees with a 60' boom truck)

At some point, we will have to take responsibility for the fact that we humans have interupted the natural cycle. We cannot "wish the overcrowded trees away" nor look for a silver bullet.

The fact is that there are too many trees - too many for the land to support. If the pine beatle doesn't kill them, drought or disease will.

I say it is better to turn these trees into power or products then to let them become worm food or burn in a confligration.


50 posted on 08/29/2006 8:48:09 PM PDT by forester (An economy that is overburdened by government eventually results in collapse)
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