Pine tree deaths
Hello. I am wondering if you could give ma any information on what may be killing pine trees on my property. I live in Douglas county (Roseburg) and I have pine trees dying at an alarming rate. In the past 6 months I have lost 8-9 trees with more starting to turn brown. The trees are dying in a progressive pattern, (one by one in a row). I know there have been a lot of Doug Fir deaths in the area, but no one but me seems to have any issue with the pines. Could it be a beetle? Any help is appreciated
Douglas County Oregon
You could be on to something thinking that a beetle is the culprit for the death of your pine trees. In southwestern Oregon, we predominantly see Western Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus brevicomis) infesting the main stem of ponderosa pine trees that are greater than 6" in diameter. They will attack trees that have been weakened by another factor, such as drought, root disease, soil compaction, or mechanical damage. Because the tree is already stressed, it doesn't have the ability to fight off the infestation as well as it could when it was healthy, which allows the beetle to successfully attack the tree.
To avoid more of your pine trees dying, you will want to maintain appropriate stocking levels for the site and conditions (see https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em9206), remove trees showing signs and symptoms of infestation, and manage the slash that is created to simultaneously prevent an Ips beetle outbreak.
For more information, check out the Western Pine Beetle fact sheet from ODF - https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Documents/ForestBenefits/Western%20Pine%20Beetle.pdf