Extension hosts bark beetle workshop Wednesday

— White Salmon, Wash. — Pine trees continue to redden and die throughout the Columbia River Gorge. It looks like the bark beetle outbreak will continue through 2014. That’s not good news for foresters and landowners.

The California fivespined Ips beetle was recorded in the Underwood area of Washington state for the first time ever in 2010. This species was unknown to occur at damaging population levels in eastern Oregon or Washington until then.

Now experts have found the beetle as far north as Fort Lewis, Wash., in Thurston County and as far east as The Dalles and Goldendale.

The California fivespined Ips only feeds on pine trees, but can affect ornamental and urban pines as well as those in the forest.

WSU Extension, OSU Extension, Underwood Conservation District and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources are hosting a pine tree health workshop to cover bark beetle outbreaks and management in the Columbia River Gorge. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at the White Salmon Library, 77 N.E. Wauna Ave. in White Salmon.

Entomologists and foresters from both states are studying the problem and adjusting management practices for foresters and landowners to keep the damage at a minimum.

Due to outbreak conditions, experts recommend landowners to wait to do pruning and thinning work until next fall, mid-October. Don’t leave branches, or “slash” material, over 3 inches in diameter in piles. Beetles emerging this spring will breed in this material. If the piles are not cleaned up, the next generation of beetles will attack nearby trees.

To learn more, WSU Extension has developed a factsheet, “Pest Watch: California Fivespined Ips — A pine engraver new to Washington State” which can be downloaded for free at: http://bit.ly/VjRAgQ.

For more information, contact Todd Murray at tmurray@wsu.edu or 509-427-3931 at the WSU Extension office; Whitney Butler at whitney@ucdwa.org or 509-493-1936 at the Underwood Conservation District; and Glenn Ahrens at glenn.ahrens@oregonstate.edu or 503-655-8631 at the OSU Extension Office.

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