We know that the forest ecosystem or virtually anywhere in the outdoors is home to thousands if not millions of organisms both visible and not visible to the naked eye. In a single tree, there are numerous organisms that live there and depend on it for survival. Unfortunately, not all the time the relationship is symbiotic or beneficial for both. For example, bark beetles have overtaken millions of trees in California and have resulted in the demise of these trees. It truly is unfortunate and really sad news but these things happen especially when there are severe weather changes. In this case, a severe drought is affecting California and the change in the season did little in improving the situation. Millions of trees have already perished and much more are in danger of dying next.

What is all the fuss about bark beetles? I’m sure not all of you are well-versed on the different insects that thrive in the world. We probably could only name a few and remain clueless about the millions and billions more that live under our radar. Some gain recognition because of instances like this, for instance. Along with bark beetles, the widespread wildfire in certain parts of the state does not help either and has wiped out acres upon acres of trees. Pine trees, in particular, are the most widely affected by bark trees. It is such an irony because pines are more in-demand at this time of the year when many families are eager to buy their own real Christmas tree in celebration of the holiday season.

The number of trees killed by bark beetles and severe drought in California reached a new high in the latest count, but foresters say a few more wet and cold winters like last year’s would make a big difference toward restoring forest health.

An additional 27 million trees have died throughout California since November 2016, bringing the total number of dead trees to 129 million on 8.9 million acres, the Forest Service said this week in a joint statement with Cal Fire.

“The number of dead and dying trees has continued to rise, along with the risks to communities and firefighters if a wildfire breaks out in these areas,” said Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region. “It is apparent from our survey flights this year that California’s trees have not yet recovered from the drought and remain vulnerable to beetle attacks and increased wildfire threat.”

(Via: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article189641729.html)

Rain can definitely help turn the situation from going to worst from worse. There’s nothing more you can do from a felled tree because of a bark beetle infestation. These trees usually turn blue and harden from fungus rendering it next to useless even if it looks fine structurally. Trees aren’t just vulnerable to bark beetles because there are much more that can threaten their existence. Trees weaken and die while the countless beetle populations are getting healthier and healthier by the minute. If you have a tree in your yard, contact experts like https://www.allcleartree.com/trimming at the first sign of a possible insect infestation so they don’t get worse. You not only save your tree from its premature demise but save the neighboring trees as well from getting infested.

To date, the Tree Mortality Task Force have collectively felled 860,000 trees, 480,000 were removed by the Forest Service. Of the 480,000 trees felled by the Forest Service 258,787 have been removed from the Sierra National Forest alone.

The dead trees continue to pose a hazard to people and critical infrastructure, mostly centered in the central and southern Sierra Nevada region of the state.

The focus of tree removal has been primarly for immediate threats to public safety in a sort of triage response. It is acknowledged by officials that more work and funding is needed ahead.

(Via: http://www.sierrastar.com/news/local/article189253274.html)

Since the problem is so widespread, it needs the collective effort of the related agencies and the support from the federal government to address the issue. We need as many healthy and standing trees out there to help us combat the rapid progression of climate change that poses a bigger threat to these trees including us. More often than not, whatever we see in our environment is just the result of our habits and us humans are the ones who are mainly responsible for all the major changes happening in the world right now. Insect infestations have been there for ages but trees have survived since then but the mere act of surviving is even more difficult for them now with everything in the environment acting as stressors to their very existence.