What is the best time to cut logs for peeling?
I have a few beetle infected lodgepole pines. I want to cut them down before warm weather and peel them to prevent pine beetle spread. I'm guessing the best time to cut for ease of peeling is just after sap starts flowing. Here in Evergreen at 8000' that is probably the end of March. So, when is the best time to cut for easy peeling? If I don't peel, when is the best time to cut not to attract bugs?
I assume you have verified that the pines are currently infested with developing larvae. There would be many pitch tubes, galleries under the bark with larvae and "blue stain" around the galleries. It is too early for trees to begin the needle redding/browning.
Cut and peel (a Log Wizard makes it easier) March, April or May. Larvae mature, pupate and fly to new trees in July, so you'll want to peel logs well in advance of that to allow bird predation, drying, etc.
Burning cut logs may be easier if you can get them to a community burn site. More info from your District Forester of CSU - Forest Service in Golden, Allen Gallamore at 303.279.9757 or CSFS_Golden@mail.colostate.edu
See also: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05528.html