Despite Better Snow Pack More Trees Are Expected to Die This Yea - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Despite Better Snow Pack More Trees Are Expected to Die This Year

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As one tree dies you would hope another would grow. 

"It takes a trained eye to see what trees are sick," said Scott Conway from the US Forest Service. 

What the Forest Service is worried about is losing our seed source. A pine cone can have anywhere from 50 to over 100 different seeds at one time. The conditions have to be just right for a seed to one day grow into a tree.

"Up here in the northern part of the Sierra we're actually doing okay. We're seeing a bit of mortality but it's spotty, it's in patches," said Conway.

It takes a year or two for a tree to show its health. 

"If we look at Tahoe, Truckee area to Reno I mean we're probably talking about 10%-15% mortality dying trees," said Conway.

Our lack of water weakens the trees immune system. 

"They're having trouble fending off a lot of insects and other diseases that otherwise might have been able to if the trees had water that they normally would get," said Conway.

Trees need water to flush out the beetles. As the water supply lowers, the easier it is for beetles to dig deeper into the tree. In popular places like a campground you may notice a pheromone or glue like substance that the Forest Service uses to prevent beetles from attacking the tree.

"A drink of water can do us a lot of good," said Conway.
Thankfully we did get more precipitation this year. But for some stressed trees it was just too little too late.

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