Tree plantings replace struggling ponderosa

April 29, 2018

As in many locations in the central and eastern Columbia Gorge, venerable ponderosa pine trees on The Dalles and Hood River campuses of CGCC are under attack by insects.

It’s a symptom of climate change, with relatively warm winters encouraging the insects’ spread west of the Rockies and north from California. In this case, “pine leaf scale” insects attacked several pines on The Dalles Campus, while “mountain pine beetles” have been scouring ponderosa on the Hood River – Indian Creek Campus.

The infestations spread rapidly, and it’s difficult or impossible to reverse the damage. Unfortunately, that means infested trees must be cut down and replaced, preferably with more resilient species. CGCC has removed many of the infested trees, including seven hazard trees earlier this spring on The Dalles Campus, reports Facilities Director Jim Austin. The first of two plantings of new trees has already occurred with 13 saplings, and a second planting is scheduled later this year.

Replacement trees are suited to local conditions for the two campuses, including such species as dogwood, aspens, noble firs and grand fir.