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Columbia County (sick tree) Timber Tour


Highlights in Conservation icon

Columbia County (sick tree) Timber Tour

Timber Tour Reveals Dramatic Effects Years after Columbia Complex Fire
 

Mike Johnson, Forest entomologist, WA DNR sampling tasty Mountain pine beetle larvae
Mike Johnson, Forest entomologist, WA DNR sampling tasty Mountain pine beetle larvae
 

Location icon
Dayton, Columbia County

Project Summary icon
The Dayton Field Office and Blue Mountain RC&D field local questions on tree health and mortality. Forest Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources entomologists travel to the region to identify, explain and offer management options to landowners faced with stressed and dying trees.

Conservation Partners icon
NRCS Dayton Field Office, USDA Forest Service

Resource Challenges icon
Columbia Complex Fire (109,000 acres) in 2006 damaged and killed thousands of board feet of timber. It also stressed many more forest acres, allowing forest pests and disease to affect trees. Professional advice was directed at landowners to manage for secondary effects to their timber, recover value and retain sustainability.

Conservation Program Used icon
Professional advice was utilized from Forest Entomologists and Forest Pathologists from USDA Forest Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources and NRCS forester. Knowledge and identification of tree conditions was completed.

Innovations and Highlights icon
Landowners visited sites in Columbia County with dead and dying trees. Forest pests and disease responsible for timber demise were identified and management strategies discussed. The number one management action was to keep forest stands thinned out. Overcrowding trees increases the opportunity for pests to migrate from tree to tree. Increased stand densities force trees to compete for nutrients, sunlight and most important, water. Additional concerns include excessive dust from forest roads and construction threatens trees. Drift of agricultural pesticides kills predatory wasps, who protect trees from black pine leaf scale in Ponderosa pine. Avoid piling wood following stand improvement activities (thinning) near residual trees. To combat the Ips beetle, avoid forest thinning activities during January - July when forest pests are feeding.

Dead Ponderosa pine at Paul Gibbons place, Wolf Fork Road
Dead Ponderosa pine at Paul Gibbons place, Wolf Fork Road
 

Results and Accomplishments icon
Forest landowners impacted by recent wildfires have the knowledge and have practiced identification skills of forest pests and disease in their timber. Forest landowners are better prepared to make management decisions about their timber and forest land to reap the highest values, protect resource values and ensure long term sustainability of their land.

Contact icon
Lisa Naylor, NRCS, Dayton Field Office (509) 382-8968, ext. 3



NRCS, Winter 2009