Canadian Forest Service Publications
Rate of deterioration, degrade and fall of trees killed by mountain pine beetle: A synthesis of the literature and experiential knowledge. 2005. Lewis, K.J.; Hartley, I. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative Working Paper 2005-14. 21 p.
Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 25483
CFS Availability: PDF (download)
This report is the first stage of a larger study to determine how factors that determine wood quality and quantity change with time-since-death, including the rate of tree fall. The type of wood products that can be manufactured from beetle-killed wood depends on these factors and on the technology used for production. The profitability of using the dead timber resource also depends on market conditions. This report however, is limited to the change in factors determining tree position (standing or down) and wood quantity and quality over time. The information presented in this report is a synthesis of over 90 published articles and responses from seven people with forestry and/or mill experience from the 1980s Caribou Plateau mountain pine beetle outbreak. In general, there is a rapid degrade of beetle-killed wood in the first one to two years post-mortality due to bluestain, reduced moisture content, and checking. Wood volume recovery from dead tree is very good, and almost the same as from green trees while the tree bark remains tight. Losses in volume up to this point are due to breakage during felling and handling. Recovery from trees with loose bark is significantly lower, but still high enough for many products. The literature and observations suggest that trees will fall to the ground before they reach the point where decay losses in standing trees are substantial. A table is provided that summarizes wood quality and quantity variables and their relationship with other variables such as time-since-death, tree size, and moisture regime