I love the pine trees in the Pacific Northwest; they are beautiful trees and they smell good! I particularly love the white bark pine, probably because I see it most often on hikes in beautiful places.
But our pine forests are disappearing, thanks to climate change and the pine bark beetle. The pine bark beetle is not new; what’s new is the area in which it can survive. As our winters are warming fast, the area where the pine bark beetle can survive through the winter (only -40C or below can kill them) is expanding, so they are spreading through our forests killing pine trees as they go. In BC alone, by some reports, 80% of the pine trees are now dead.
We need our trees now more than ever – they sequester CO2 better than any other “technology” we have. Unfortunately, there’s very little we can do, other than to do something about climate change.
This is a photograph of a white bark pine at Crater Lake, taken by yours truly. White bark pine is now considered endangered because of the beetle infestation and the large number of trees that have been killed.
For more on the huge beetle infestation and its effects on the trees, see the article How Science Can Help to Halt the Western Bark Beetle Plague, and this short video: https://youtu.be/nql__-1Ui6Q.