BARK BEETLES
& DEAD TREES

WHAT PROPERTY OWNERS NEED TO KNOW TO REDUCE WILDFIRE RISK EACH SEASON

Here’s what you can do seasonally to reduce your risk of wildfire and promote tree health:
Winter
  • Check property for dead or bark beetle-infested trees.
  • Weather permitting, now is the best time to remove those trees and dense undergrowth.
  • Trim up trees for vertical clearance as part of your home’s defensible space. If not feasible in winter then plan now to do so when weather permits.
  • If you’re planting trees this spring, plan ahead now and plant locally native trees.

Spring
  • Prepare defensible space.
  • Remove dead and bark beetle-infested trees.
  • Bark beetles are most active now and in summer—be careful not to damage remaining trees as fresh wood attracts beetles.
  • If possible, remove freshly cut wood. Otherwise, cover, lop or chip infested wood—and do not place near healthy trees.
  • Following an extended period of little to no rain, sparingly water high-value trees. Use best watering practices.
  • Now is the time to plant new trees, as long as irrigation is available.

Summer
  • Remove dead and dying trees.
  • Follow spring guidelines as beetles are very active in summer as well.
  • Be especially careful with power tools—one spark can start a wildfire. If planting trees in fall, plan ahead now and plant locally native trees.

Fall
  • If planting trees, wait until the weather cools and fall rains have increased soil moisture.
  • Now is one of the best times to remove dead and dying trees, and dense undergrowth.
  • Water high-value trees only if significantly less than average rainfall this season; otherwise, do not water.