Cutting and chunking deadline for mountain pine beetle draws near

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Farm Forum

PIERRE — March 1 is the deadline to kill mountain pine beetles through the cut and chunk method, according to state forest health program specialist Brian Garbisch.

“After that date, there is no longer enough time for the tissue under the bark to dry out and degrade,” he said. “The beetles will mature and fly to other trees.”

Cutting and peeling, cutting and wrapping, or cutting and chipping infested trees will be effective until May 1. If hauling to a sawmill is an option, landowners should try to have those things done by June 1.

The state has a limited number of contractors available to cut and chunk or cut and remove infested trees identified by state marking crews. Once all of the state’s cutting crews are committed to projects, landowners will need to find their own contractors to treat infested trees.

“Reports of treated trees and requests for cost share assistance have been slow to come in,” said Garbisch. “If people wait too long, they may not have time to get their trees treated.”

State crews will soon be finished surveying and marking mountain pine beetle infested trees on private lands for this season.

Landowners who have not had their property surveyed can identify infested trees themselves with help from http://beatthebeetles.com/ or contact the Resource Conservation and Forestry office at 605-394-2395 as soon as possible.