If you’ve lived in Colorado for any amount of time you’ve probably heard about our forests slowly succumbing to a pine beetle infestation. It is a sad sight to see large swaths of dead, grey trees interspersed with the green forests of the Rocky Mountains. However the pioneering spirit of the west lives on in Colorado and when pesky bugs give us lemons, we make lemonade. The trees, though dead, maintain their structural integrity if they are harvested before decay begins. This unique wood offers the luminous tones of pine enhanced by blue highlights which are created by a fungus the bug carries. All this talk of bugs and fungus sounds icky but it’s perfectly safe, sustainable, not to mention, beautiful. Beetle kill wood is being used to make everything from iPhone cases, to snowboards, to hardwood flooring and wood accents for the home.
The Plight of the Forest
The Rocky Mountain Region of the US Forest Service estimates that the infestation has affected more than 3.3 million acres of Colorado’s forests. Pine beetles have reached into the neighboring states of Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming as well. The beetles have mainly attacked lodge pole, ponderosa and limber pines. Even though these trees are dead, they are still important for wildlife habitat as well as prevention of soil erosion. Clear cutting these trees is not the answer but environmentalists tout the selective removal of beetle kill trees for safety and ecosystem health.
Dead trees of any sort are dangerous to those who use the high country, either for recreation or work. They can fall at any moment causing injury or even death. Trees that have fallen victim to pine beetles or other blight also provide ready fuel for wildfires. Clearing out specific areas of these trees removes those dangers and provides environmentally friendly building materials as well.
Benefits of Beetle Kill Materials
Until recently Colorado imported up to 95 percent of lumber used in the state. This doesn’t make much economic sense for a state with so much lumber available from dead trees, as the Denver Post pointed out in their report about Beetle Kill Wood Being Used in Home Construction.
It is also more environmentally sound to use local sources rather than having wood shipped or trucked in from other areas. The beetles attack large, full grown trees so their wood is suitable for a variety of purposes from house framing, to structural beams, to decorative accents.
Choosing reclaimed wood is one of the best ways to keep our virgin forests standing. Reclaimed wood is not only environmentally friendly, but one of the best structural choices you can make as well. The wood has already been given a chance to fully dry out therefore it is resistant to warping, twisting, and cracking.
Let Us Help!
Shop our vast selection of reclaimed wood products
, including beetle kill pine. It’s beautiful for your home, helps the health of our forests, and will last a lifetime. Are reclaimed products are good for flooring, beams, mantels, and more! To set up a consultation, give us a call at 303-674-6966. Spring is a popular time for home projects so don’t wait, call today!