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Spruce bark beetle sinking its teeth deeper into Alaska’s forests
A beetle is revealed under the bark of a spruce tree during a forestry project at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, June 6, 2018. Spruce bark beetles are attacking Alaska’s spruce tree population from the Kenai Peninsula to the Matanuska Valley and JBER. Spruce bark beetles typically attack trees greater than six inches in diameter. Adults burrow into the bark, leaving behind a small hole, and then mate under the bark where the female lays eggs. Based on the typical climate in Alaska, the lifecycle of the larva take about two years to mature and then emerge from the tree (usually dead at this point) and fly to the next host tree to start the cycle over again. In the past 35 years, spruce beetle outbreaks have resulted in the loss of an estimated three billion board feet of timber in Alaska. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo by Charlene Johnson)

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Photo by: Courtesy Photo by Charlene Johnson |  VIRIN: 180606-F-FC540-1002.JPG