First things first: what is Beetle Kill Pine?
Beetle Kill Pine refers to the over 3.4 million acres of pine forest that has been impacted by the mountain pine beetle. That’s 1/5 of all Rocky Mountain forestland. These beetles seek out large diameter trees then attack and ultimately kill them en masse by tunneling under the bark, cutting off nutrients to the tree. While burrowing through the tree, the beetles introduce a blue-gray appearance into the wood due to fungus. This blue stain fungus does not change the structural integrity of the wood, but adds a unique aesthetic value to the raw pine.
Why Harvest Beetle Kill Pine?
The answer is three-fold. Colorado State Forest Service estimates that one in very 14 trees in Colorado is dead. That’s about 834 million trees in 2017, up about 30% since 2010. These dead-standing trees cause several problems. One of them being increasing the severity of forest fires. Dead trees produce more smoke, burn longer, and are harder for firefighters to extinguish.
Another issue is the overall health of the forest. Removing the impacted trees helps promote stronger trees that can become more resistant to the effects of the beetles. Over-crowding of these dead-standing trees makes the forest as a whole weaker. The Colorado forest industry currently faces an overwhelming number of dead trees in need of removal and have started to partner with local agencies to remove them. The reclaimed timber industry is key to a healthier forest that is more resistant to disease, insects and drought.
Of course, a major reason to harvest beetle kill pine is because it is an extremely sustainable building material option. Beetle Kill Pine is as structurally sound and of the same quality as any healthy, live tree that is used for interior cladding. Many people familiar with Beetle Kill Pine find the blue stain of raw Beetle Kill pine unique and beautiful.
Delta has taken this raw timber and applied the same idea of innovation we have always used to create one-of-a-kind stained and charred versions of this vast resource. See them here.