Forests Near Missoula Showing Signs of Pine Beetles

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – An entomologist for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says the forests near Missoula are showing signs of the tree-killing mountain pine beetle.

Amy Gannon says many trees on the Mount Jumbo saddle are have pitch polka-dotting their trunks — a sign that they were trying to flush out the tiny beetles that bore into the tree. The trees still have green needles for now, but next year they’ll likely be covered with red needles and dead.

The beetles have already infested swaths of forest around Helena, Anaconda and Deer Lodge. Missoula has an estimated 250 to 300 acres of forest at risk to beetle infestation.