Animal Tracks and Signs

May 13, 2006

Have you noticed some brown, dead trees along Highway 58 between Lowell and Willamette Pass and wondered if the bark beetles have spread to the west side of the Cascades? They haven’t — that’s bear damage. Black bears in Western Oregon have an unusual appetite for the cambium of fir trees, just as the trees are starting to “bud”. The cambium and surrounding tissues provide the nourishment to the trees; when the bark is ripped off, the trees die. Who “wood” have thunk it! Dave Walp showed us many recent examples of damaged trees, including some very prominent claw marks. Enjoying the excursion were Lou Marenz, Nola Nelson, Richard Hughes and Lana Lindstrom.


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