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Rainy Winter May Reduce Bark Beetle Infestations

Another good rainy season could finally start reducing tree deaths from bark beetles more significantly. Mark Brown, with the vegetation program at the Tahoe National Forest Office in Nevada City, says healthy trees, with good moisture, produce more sap to repel the pests. But he says it’ll be a gradual improvement…

click to listen to Mark Brown

Brown says although colder weather can also slow bark beetle infestations, temperatures would need to be below zero to wipe them out. But he says the populations should still have a major drop, if the wet conditions continue…

click to listen to Mark Brown

Brown also points out that although the bark beetles have now killed an estimated 100-million trees in California, the majority have died in the drier Central and Southern Sierra. He also says more thinning of the forests would keep mortality rates down and the Forest Service is planning more projects this year.

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