One look at this Emerald Ash Borer and you can understand why the elytra, or stiff front pair of wings on a beetle have been popular since cavemen discovered they weren’t just delicious but also useful for trade. What wouldn’t you give to possess something so amazingly iridescent?
I really thought the perfectly round hole in the tree was man-made and wondered what it was for. Then I looked at the other side of the tree.
Woodpeckers are amazing! Imagine being the beetle on the other side of this attack!
The bottom of a dead tree trunk full of beetle holes caught my eye and I wondered how to share it on my blog. An hour later, while innocently reading the Sunday New York Times, I encountered an article with a good hook:”Small Colorado Resort Goes Big With a $700 Lift Ticket”. The price included a pair of skis or a snowboard made of beetle-kill wood. Beetle-kill wood?!?! Bingo!
According to Google, “The mountain pine beetle has killed large numbers of the lodgepole pine trees in the northern mountains of the US state of Colorado. Chemical prevention is effective but too costly for large-scale use. If not removed the dead trees increase the incidence of wildfires, and may contribute to climate change as they decay. Uses have been found for the dead wood including composting and in construction, and potentially to make biochar.”
“Beetle kill wood is also being used in local projects. Multiple housing complexes are beginning to use beetle kill wood to replace sidings of houses, like a condo complex at Copper Mountain which is replacing old siding with blue-stain wood, which is named for the dark color in the wood that is caused by fungus carried by the pine beetle. Snowboards, skis and guitars are also being crafted from beetle kill pine.
The Beetle Kill Trade Association has been established to “to unite and align the self interests of business invested in or interested in the removal and recycling of standing beetle killed lodgepole pines in order to remove obstacles to the creation of a viable, vibrant and sustainable market for products utilizing beetle kill pines as raw material.””
What about southern Maryland beetle-kill wood? The emerald ash borer has devastated most of our lovely ash trees. Photos of dead tree and bark follow.
The beetle exit holes are supposed to be sort of “D” shaped. Look closely. Some of the beetles made their “D”s backward. Local guitar designers seeking beetle-kill wood are encouraged to contact me.