Tree Removal at new home construction in Montecito
Branch Out Tree Care recently started removal of four Monterey pine trees next to a new home construction site in Montecito. The trees were nearing the end of their prime and due to the drought and hot winter had become infected with a bark beetle. The bark beetle infection caused the final decline of the trees
Bark Beetle Identification
The redhaired pine bark beetle is the probable cause as they are the bark beetles most commonly seen in Monterey pine and although actual beetles were not observed the signs of the redhaired pine bark beetle were present. As described in the UC-IPM (University of California – Integrated Pest Management) Online:
- The species of tree attacked and the location of damage on the tree help in identifying the bark beetle species present. Peeling off a portion of infested bark to reveal the winding pattern of the beetle galleries (tunnels chewed by adults and larvae) is a good way to identify individual beetle species. Bark beetles mine the inner bark (the phloem-cambial region) on twigs, branches, or trunks of trees and shrubs. This activity often starts a flow of tree sap in conifers, but sometimes even in hardwoods like elm and walnut.
- The sap flow (pitch tube) is accompanied by the sawdust-like frass created by the beetles. Frass accumulates in bark crevices or may drop and be visible on the ground or in spider webs. Small emergence holes in the bark are a good indication that bark beetles were present. Removal of the bark with the emergence holes often reveals dead and degraded inner bark and sometimes new adult beetles that have not yet emerged.
- Bark beetles frequently attack trees weakened by drought, disease, injuries, or other factors that may stress the tree. Bark beetles can contribute to the decline and eventual death of trees; however only a few aggressive species are known to be the sole cause of tree mortality. Although the bark beetle was not the sole cause of the tree’s decline, it greatly contributed to the speed of the decline in addition to water and heat stress.
Dead or Dying Trees
= Fire Hazard
The four Monterey pines with their dead and dying needles would have become a severe fire hazard if not removed. The trees were located next to an active construction site for a new home and just outside the 100-foot defensible space perimeter required by the County of Santa Barbara’s Unit Fire Plan.
Dead trees or trees with very dry foliage (including pine needles) are extremely flammable. Removal of these trees will, in the case of wildfires, reduce the potential for fire to reach the home. For more information about defensible space and fire safety check out CalFire’s website: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/.
Are Your Trees Healthy?
The best way to determine if your trees are healthy is to have an ISA Certified Arborist examine your trees. A tree should be examined from top to bottom and even a few inches underground. A Certified Arborist will have the background and knowledge to determine the overall health of your tree and provide recommendations as needed to keep your trees as healthy as possible.
Contact Branch Out Tree Care via email or phone and talk to their on-staff Certified Arborists.