The story behind the beetle kill pine
The mountain pine beetle has been killing off the pine trees that line our Colorado Rocky Mountains – or, the fungus that these beetles carry is killing the pines. Fortunately, we’ve found a way to turn this unfortunate but natural phenomenon into sustainable hardwood floors to adorn our homes.
The mountain pine beetle and the blue stain fungus
The mountain pine beetle (MPB) has been annihilating pines for over 3.6 million acres in Montana, Colorado, and southeastern Wyoming. The MPB uses the pine tree to reproduce. They’ll mine their way into the bark of the pine, laying their eggs and then feeding on blue stain fungus. It is this fungus that is the true killer of the pine. However, blue stain fungus pine doesn’t sound as great as beetle kill pine. Also, without the beetle, the fungus would never get to the pine, so the beetle is just as guilty as the fungus. Anyway, we’re getting off track.
Blue stain fungus kills and protects
The MPB is a tiny, black, hard-shelled bark beetle that likes to settle down and play house in pine trees. They’ll mostly go for lodgepole, Scotch, ponderosa, and limber pine trees that are old or already weak. The MPB don’t like to live alone, so they tend to work together to stage a coup on the biggest tree in the area. They use the fungus as a weapon against the tree’s natural defense, resin, and build a colony in the lower part of the tree. Once settle, the fungus also serves as nourishment for the larvae and the adult beetles. While the MPBs and their offsprings munch on blue stain fungus to grow big and strong and conquer more pine trees, the fungus slowly suffocates the tree until it dies.
Blue beetle kill pine floors
To get a happy ending to this story, we’ve taken the pine killed by the beetles (and the fungus) and turned them into hardwood floors, wall and ceiling trim, beams, mantels, and much more. With a natural finish, the kill beetle pine is light blond with great weathered blue-grey accents. This makes for a great “beachy” or coastal look. However, with an oily finish, the kill beetle pine is more amber, making it more rustic and antique. With the right finish, beetle kill pine floors will work with any interior style.
Since the pines are killed naturally, we do not have to source living trees. Rather, we are using a natural resource that has been naturally sourced by the beetle. The pine trees come from Colorado, further reducing our carbon footprint by using locally sourced materials. Beetle kill pine hardwood floors not only look good, but they’ll feel good.
Acclimating beetle kill pine products
When you buy beetle kill pine flooring, make sure you are buying a quality product. The pine tree is a soft wood, so getting your wood properly acclimated to your home and your area is going to take time. However, with a little patience, you’ll get beautiful sustainable hardwood floors for your home.