A University of Idaho study has revealed that conifer trees such as spruce, pine and fir are highly resistant to pests making them a sought-after choice for wood production and landscaping. The researchers found that the trees naturally deter insects such as bark beetles and wood borers thanks to their unique bark and the complex chemical structure of their wood. The study’s findings have vast implications for the wood industry, with manufacturers possibly reducing the amount of pesticides used to protect their goods from pests. Additionally, land managers could have an alternative to chemical use to deter pests by planting conifer trees.
New Study Finds Conifer Trees to be Highly Resistant to Pests
Conifer trees, which include trees like pine, spruce, and fir, have long been known for their strength and durability. These trees are often used in construction and furniture making, thanks to their strong, straight trunks and resistance to decay. Now, a new study has found that conifer trees are also highly resistant to pests, making them an even more desirable choice for wood products and landscaping.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Idaho and published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, looked at the resistance of conifer trees to several common pests, including bark beetles and wood borers. The researchers found that the trees were able to resist these insects due to a variety of factors, including the chemical composition of their wood and the structure of their bark.
According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Blaise Starrett, “Conifer trees have evolved a number of defense mechanisms to protect themselves from pests. These mechanisms make the trees less attractive to insects and also make it more difficult for insects to penetrate the trees’ bark and wood.”
Implications for the Wood Products Industry
The study’s findings have important implications for the wood products industry. By using conifer wood in construction and furniture making, manufacturers may be able to reduce the amount of pesticide they need to use to protect their products from pests. Conifer wood may also have a longer lifespan than other types of wood, thanks to its natural resistance to decay and insects.
Additionally, the study’s findings may lead to new pest control strategies for forests and other natural areas. Instead of relying on chemical pesticides, land managers may be able to plant more conifer trees to naturally deter pests.