Utilization of Beetle-Killed Southern Pine
George Woodson – Prepared under contract with the Forest Service, U.S. Dpearment of Agriculture Forestry Associate Professor, Wood Utilization, School of Forestry, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA.
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report WO-47.
Southern Pine Beetle Damage
Southern pines, as a group, are susceptible to many insect and disease organisms, but the most prevalent of these is the southern pine beetle (SPB). In some years, beetle outbreaks occur throughout the 13-State southern pine region; in others, the damage is limited to a few widely scattered locations. Probably no other insect is of more concern to forest managers in the South than the southern pine beetle.
Once infestations have been detected, several methods can be used to stop the spread of the pest. Chemical control, pile-and-burn, cut-and-leave, and salvage removal are the recommended methods. Landowners usually prefer salvage removal because some of the losses can be recovered if they can sell the timber. Cut-and-leave is sometimes used where infestations are small and scattered or are located in inaccessible areas. The material may be salvaged later even though it has been on the ground for several weeks. Landowners or forest managers using salvage or cut-and-leave methods seek to halt infestation spread and to utilize the material before it deteriorates. Chemical control and pile-and-burn are seldom used because of the expense of chemical treatment and possible environmental concerns in the use of either method.
Frequently, mill managers will purchase small quantities of beetle-killed material and blend it in with their usual supply of green logs, but they are hesitant to purchase large quantities. Reasons generally given for this reluctance to harvest and process beetle-killed timber are: 1) Difficult and hazardous to harvest, 2) costly and difficult to process, 3) difficult to dry uniformly, especially when mixed with green lumber, 4) reduces lumber grade and yield, 5) has a restricted market, and 6) the material is often difficult to grade when standard lumber grades are used because of variation in stage of deterioration.
Even at reduced stumpage prices, it is sometimes difficult to find a buyer for beetle-killed timber, particularly when there are numerous woodborer and ambrosia beetle holes and initial decay in the outer wood layers.
Developed by the University of Georgia Bugwood Network in cooperation with USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection, USDA APHIS PPQ, Georgia Forestry Commission, Texas Forest Service
and the Pests and Diseases Image Library - Australia
Last updated August 2018
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