Tree Talk Articles

Spring 2016

Bark Beetles Attracted to Storm Damaged Trees

Recent history seems to indicate that we are experiencing more windstorms with greater frequency and intensity. Most of us recall the back-to-back windstorms that occurred in July and August 2014. They resulted in road closures, power outages, building damage and many downed trees, in both urban and wildland forests. Another doozy of a storm blew… Read More »

What Kind of Tree is This?

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard: “Hey, you’re a forester; what kind of tree is this?” For many foresters, we would rather confront a bear in the woods than hear that brief question. We’re fine answering that question in our local forest with native trees, but while looking at a non-native tree we’re… Read More »

Fall 2015

Fire Season 2015: It’s not over ’til it’s over

Back in the 1980s, I met a forest landowner with an interesting story to tell.  She grew up on her family’s homestead at Glengary along the west shore of Lake Pend Oreille and even though she was just a youngster of 10 years old, she vividly remembered the epic 1910 Fires.  More than seven decades… Read More »

Spring 2015

What you don’t know that you don’t know?

Forestry, like any other profession, contains certain terms or practices that become so commonly used that their origin is sometimes forgotten. There is a constant need to measure various aspects of the forest environment including distance and area. You may have heard of a linear measure called a chain, or of something called the Scribner… Read More »

Fall 2014

Inland Forests’ Biggest Pests

What pest problem has the greatest influence on the health of Inland Northwest forests: Bark beetles? Stem decays? Root diseases? Needle casts? Dwarf mistletoes? Rusts? White Pine Blister Rust From an historical perspective, many foresters argue that white pine blister rust has had the biggest impact on forest health. Because of this introduced disease, as… Read More »

Fall 2013

NRCS Sign-up

As you may know, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), has money available to help landowners manage their forest land. These funds can be used for a variety of projects including forest management planning, tree planting and pre-commercial thinning. In order to qualify for planning or thinning money,… Read More »

Spring 2013

Improving Log Markets

Finally, after wallowing at low levels for four years, the log market has come to life and prices are moving upward! Although log values are far from 2006 historic highs, most species are returning to a price where landowners can feel good about selling timber and addressing the forest health needs. Many factors are contributing… Read More »

Green at Last!

As spring brings longer days, the transformation of drab landscapes into lush, green environments begins. Our spirits soar. Green is a fascinating color. Ruminations about it could fill volumes. Green is soothing and relaxing. As such, it is used by many to symbolize peace and ecology. (Ironically, green also may be the color some think… Read More »

Fall 2012


Every good intention I had to get my firewood in early this year met an equally good excuse. First it was too cold then too hot, too wet then too dry, too many bugs, gas prices too high, too many huckleberries to pick, and then the fly fishing was way too good, and now it’s… Read More »

Spring 2012

Bugs Turning Hillsides Brown

Drive south of Coeur d’Alene along Highway 95 and it’s hard to miss the hillsides of brown trees, particularly in the Worley-Plummer area. What, you may ask, is causing this? The culprit is Douglas-fir Tussock Moth (DFTM), a forest pest that feeds on the needles of Douglas-fir, true firs and ornamental spruce trees. DFTM is… Read More »

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