Agency RSS

Save Your Pine Trees - Do Not Move Mountain Pine Beetle-Infested Wood




                                                                        For Immediate Release: May 23, 2011

                                                                        Media Contact: Coe Foss, 605-394-2663


Save Your Pine Trees - Do Not Move Mountain Pine Beetle-Infested Wood


RAPID CITY, S.D. - The South Dakota Department of Agriculture warns people that moving firewood now could result in the death of their healthy pine trees later. 


An increasingly common method of dealing with ponderosa pines infested by mountain pine beetles is to fell the trees and cut the trunk into 2-foot lengths during the fall or winter. That treatment accelerates the drying and increases mortality of the larvae and callow adults. 


The treatment should be completed by the end of March.  Felling and cutting into short bolts after that deadline may not dry the wood enough to prevent a significant number of adult beetles from emerging later this summer.  Furthermore, infested wood, even wood treated in that manner, should not be moved from the site at this time.  Regardless of the effectiveness of the treatment, some adults will still survive and emerge.


 “Landowners have recently been seen gathering infested wood that has been treated to kill mountain pine beetles and moving it to their property or home for firewood,” said Ray Sowers, state forester. “The wood has sometimes been left in piles.  Piling the infested wood will not allow for drying, and beetles will emerge from those piles to infest the landowner’s trees.”


Landowners who have already moved wood should split it as soon as possible and lay the pieces out in a single layer to dry.  Landowners who have not moved infested wood to be used as firewood should avoid doing so now because it increases the possibility of bringing the beetles to the landowners’ property.


Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 143,000 South Dakotans.  The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.  Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or follow us on Facebook.

- 30 -