He explained that these spruce beetle outbreaks are part of a “natural process” driven by a variety of factors. "When they do attack standing, otherwise living trees, they can help with opening up a forest, clearing it of older, less healthy, over-mature trees and things like that.". Experts say there are steps that landowners can take to minimize an outbreak and prevent beetles from killing trees. The flight period continues into July. After the biggest spruce beetle outbreak in 20 years, forest experts advise that landowners take action to keep the beetles from spreading before they emerge with warmer weather. "Under normal circumstances, they just exist in dead and dying, already-on-the-ground type trees and they help start the process of decomposition," said Jessie Moan with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. Spruce bark beetles are attacking Alaska’s spruce tree population from the Kenai Peninsula to … "Those applications typically should be applied before the adult flight period, which usually starts around the middle of May, but as we're all aware, we've had quite a warm-up recently so it's important to keep track of that," Moan said. Spruce beetles are beginning to emerge in Southcentral Alaska and property owners should take steps to reduce further infestation of green spruce trees. There is no treatment that can cure a beetle-infested tree, but preventative pesticides can be a solution in some situations. Links to Related Web Sites; Western Bark Beetle Initiative Grant Program. Spruce beetles are native to Alaska, and big tree-killing infestations tend to run in cycles, he said. Or perhaps, what SHOULDN’T we do about it. Spruce beetles infest Sitka, white, and Lutz spruce trees, and are rarely are seen in black spruce … In 2018, around 600,000 acres were impacted. Spruce beetles can take one or two years to complete their life cycle in Alaska, with temperature playing a major role in how fast they develop. In addition to this website, see www.alaskasprucebeetle.org for great information on the spruce beetle damage and management in Alaska. This includes: White spruce; Sitka Spruce; Lutz spruce (a white and Sitka spruce hybrid) Black Spruce; Click on the species above to view a species description and identification information excerpted from: Common Trees of Alaska. For information on mitigating spruce beetle visit the management section tab above or click here. Spruce bark beetles prefer to attack large, weakened or stressed trees. One of the best ways to mitigate spruce beetle infestations is to harvest and process damaged or dying spruce trees. The spruce beetle has changed the forests of southcentral Alaska, and it’s not done. The birds will peck off the bark to eat the larvae inside. Available here. Woodpeckers will also be attracted to infested trees. Introduction. That creates what biologists call a pitch tube. After the biggest spruce beetle outbreak in 20 years, forest experts advise that landowners take action to keep the beetles from spreading before they emerge with warmer weather. Adult spruce beetles typically emerge from their host trees each spring when temperatures reach 60°F. 1. Spruce beetles will not attack well-seasoned wood and are normally gone from trees that have been dead for more than one year ( though beetles and other insects may enter the wood). Recent surveys by the Alaska Division of Forestry confirm that spruce beetles are on the move. Keeping trees and forest stands healthy during increased spruce beetle activity is an important first step for management. As Alaska continues to experience a warming climate recent studies also indicate that spruce bark beetle outbreaks may become more frequent. A few traits can help identify an infested tree before its foliage turns brown. Currently, spruce beetles are affecting over 400,000 acres in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, resulting in widespread mortality of spruce trees. The question often asked is, what if anything can one do about it? The spruce beetle is an aggressive bark beetle that feeds and reproduces in the inner bark of various species of spruce trees. It is reasonable to expect that general patterns of risk in the Pacific … Spruce beetles are native to Alaska so this is not a new phenomenon. When spruce beetles (Dendroctonus rufipennis) thin a forest canopy, surviving trees grow more rapidly for decades until the canopy closes and growth is suppressed through competition.We used measurements of tree rings to detect such growth releases and reconstruct the history of spruce beetle outbreaks at 23 mature spruce (Picea spp.) Do I have spruce beetle? Please direct any questions about this funding to wbbi@alaska.gov or (907) 269-8460. The same practices that keep spruce trees resilient against spruce beetle are the same things you probably already to do keep trees healthy in general. Spruce beetles and forest ecosystems in south-central Alaska: A review of 30 years of research. Photo: Dr. Terry Chapin, UAF. “Last year we had about 593,000 acres statewide or somewhere around that. This guide provides a quick reference for In Alaska, all of our native spruce species are susceptible. The first step to minimize further damage is to remove infested trees. Spruce under attacl by spruce beetles. Outbreaks of this beetle have caused extensive spruce mortality from Alaska to Arizona and have occurred in every forest with substantial spruce stands. Spruce beetles are native to Alaska and are always present in the environment. During this time, the adult beetles seek out and attack new host trees. 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