Sustainable Beetle Kill Pine Furniture
A bark beetle the size of a grain of rice has managed to take down acres and acres of pine trees from Montana to Colorado to Wyoming. The mountain pine beetle uses various species of pine to reproduce in large numbers, carrying with them a fungus that slowly suffocates the pines. However, with reforestation and sustainable home decorating practices, we’ve managed to turn this natural phenomenon into beautiful and unique furniture.
How the beetle kills the pine
The mountain pine beetles will seek out the largest and weakest pine tree, and together, they will stage an attack and take over the pine. Like many animal kingdoms, it is the female that begins the attack, as she bores into the bark of the pine to the phloem layer of the tree. As they do their mining through the trunk, they’ll release a scent alerting other beetles to join the fight. Soon, they’ll feed and lay their eggs, raising new little beetle armies to move to the next pine and the next and so on. However, unlike the name beetle kill pine would imply, the beetle isn’t the actual killer of the pine. Rather, the cause of death for the pine trees is a blue stain fungus carried by the beetle.
Blue stain fungus
When the beetles bore into the pines to set up a large-scale maternity ward/communal living space, the pine tree will release a defensive resin to ward off the beetles. However, the beetles come armed with a blue stain fungus that they carry in their mouths. The fungus will protect the beetle by stopping the production of resin, as well as serve as nourishment once they’ve taken over the tree. Once they’ve reached their destination, they’ll mate, lay their eggs, and rest up for several months before digging an exit tunnel and moving on to the next tree, followed by their many newborn beetles.
Characteristics of Beetle Kill Pine
Many will recognize beetle kill pine for its unique characteristics and colors. The blue stain fungus gives the naturally blonde wood beautiful shades of blue and gray. Because each piece of wood is unique in its colors and grain pattern, anything made with beetle kill pine is the perfect blend of rustic and modern.
Sustainable Beetle Kill Pine furniture
Colorado is home to many pines that have been killed – and are continuously killed – by beetles. Since the wood has already been naturally killed, we source local beetle kill pine and make beautiful sustainable home furniture. By taking wood that is acquired locally and sourced sustainably, we can greatly reduce our carbon footprint.
Buy handmade furniture from Colorado
We’ve got unique and locally crafted beetle kill pine furniture. All of the materials are sustainably sourced and each piece of furniture can be custom sized. Stop by our Denver reclaimed furniture boutique to see our selection of beetle kill pine home furnishings.