Mountain Pine Beetle

These trees were killed by mountain pine beetle.

What You Need To Know

The mountain pine beetle is a native beetle and a natural part of the Rocky Mountain ecosystem. But in the current outbreak, which started in 1996, it has affected more than five million acres in the Rocky Mountains. Its main target is the lodgepole pine, but it can also affect other kinds of pine.

Are My Woods At Risk?
If you have lodgepole, ponderosa, or limber pine--the beetles' preferred hosts--in an area with outbreaks, your woods may be at risk of infestation. The beetles also sometimes attack bristlecone and whitebark. The beetles usually infest trees larger than 6 inches in diameter.

As a rule of thumb, if you can see trees that have been attacked by mountain pine beetle while standing in your property, for example on nearby slopes, your trees are at risk. This page from the U.S. Forest Service explains how foresters determine the risk that a stand of trees may be attacked by lodgepole pines, but be forewarned: it's quite technical. 

With the right information, you can protect your woods. Start by learning a little mountain pine beetle biology, or jump to steps for damage control or prevention. And remember, help is always available.

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