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Bark Beetles In California Conifers

Are Your Trees Susceptible?

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Native bark beetles cause high levels of tree mortality in California.

The bark beetles causing widespread mortality in the forests and forested communities in California are all native. The principal species include: mountain pine beetle, fir engraver beetle, western pine beetle, Jeffrey pine beetle and pine engraver beetle (Ips).

In California, drought is the “trigger” for increased bark beetle activity. The longer and more extreme the drought, the higher the likelihood of large scale, beetle-mediated tree mortality. Trees rely on pitch production to resist bark beetle attacks. When water-stressed, a tree’s ability to produce pitch is diminished, and bark beetles are able to successfully attack and kill weakened trees (Hart et al. 2015).

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