Sponsored by the Lake States Fire Science Consortium
Presented by Steve Katovich, Ph.D.
Forest Entomologist, USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection
Prescribed fire in pine stands, tree mortality and the response of insects and pathogens: Fire injury can kill older pine trees outright, creating breeding material for bark and wood boring beetles. Fire can also injure needles and wound portions of stems and major roots, resulting in stressed or damaged trees that are not only highly susceptible to insect or pathogen invasion but may also be highly attractive to some insects. Dead roots and patches of damaged bark, cambium and phloem tissue may impact tree health well into the future. Prescribed burns in both red and white pine stands in northern Minnesota have become more common over the last decade. Some of these fires have resulted in noticeable pockets of dead pine trees with some of the tree mortality lingering for several years as insect and pathogen populations utilize damaged trees. This presentation will outline the role of insects and pathogens following a fire in a northern Minnesota pine stand and touch on some common sense practices that should limit tree mortality.
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