Bark Beetles

Bark beetle infestation remains an issue in the Tahoe Basin.

The best prevention availble for Bark beetle is to have a clean and healthy stand of trees. Overcrowding causes stress that weaken your trees and makes them susceptible to beetle attack. Broken limbs, piles of slash, and uncovered firewood can provide habitat for bark beetles. Insecticide can be beneficial in prevention of a beetle attack but will not help a tree that has already been infested.

The method of tree mortality caused by bark beetle can be deceptive. The beetles may girdle the tree while feeding on the inner bark or introduce a fungus that clogs the tree's water conducting abilities. Either action, or a combination of both, will kill the tree. The tree may retain green needles for two years after infestation and then suddenly turn red, seemingly overnight. The beetles have normally left the tree by this time, on their way to infest other trees.

Trees that are showing signs of bark beetle infestation (click here for a more information) should be removed to prevent further infestation. By felling the tree, disposing of the slash, and processing the wood, the beetle is denied a suitable habitat to produce future generations.

TRPA defines a dead tree as "one which is totally lacking green limbs or needles through the crown".  As stated above, an infested tree may not turn red until after the beetle has left the tree, ready to infest other trees. The CDF will issue a removal permit for infested trees.

Remember, a tree removal permit is required for any live tree 6" in diameter at breast height (4 1/2 feet) or greater.

If you have a tree that you are not sure of, call 541-6564 to have a CDF Forester make an inspection.