Canadian Forest Service Publications

Wood decay and degradation in standing lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latfolia Engelman.) killed by mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosa Hopkins: Coleoptera) 2006. Lewis, K.J.; Thompson, D.; Hartley, I.; Pasca, S. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, B.C. Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative Working Paper 2006-11. 18 p.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26327

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: PDF (download)

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Despite the number of past outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosa (Hopkins)), little is known about the rate of change in stand structure, and the rate of deterioration of wood properties with time since death. In this study, we examined the rate of tree fall in beetle-affected stands, and determined the biophysical factors that affect wood quantity and quality in individual trees following mortality. We surveyed 30 stands, and destructively sampled 450 trees. External indicators used to estimate year of mortality were not accurate, particularly for trees that had been killed in the earlier stages of the epidemic. Sample trees were cross dated against live trees to determine their year of mortality. Drying, blue stain and checking were the major causes of decline in wood quality and quantity in recently killed trees (1 to 2 years after death). Saprot and ambrosia beetles became established during the first 2 years after mortality, but then held steady and did not increase depth of penetration, except within the basal section of the tree, where moisture content remained well above fibre-saturation point, thereby allowing continued colonization by decay fungi. Location along the stem and tree size are major contributors to variation detected in the factors of wood quality and quantity.