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Was driving home after doing a bit of kayaking near Snoqualmie Pass and noticed tons and tons of fir trees that looked like they were rust colored from top to bottom. The die-off seemed particularly acute near Exit 38 - with what looked like 2-3 acres of dead trees clustered together. Deciduous trees seemed totally unaffected. The closest thing I can recall is the look of some pine forests in central Oregon during a pine-beetle infestation.

Anyone have any idea what's killing the trees? Some kind of beetle? Virus? Fungus? Lingering effects of last years's drought? Essentializing neocolonialist heteronormative cis-privileging narrative institutional meta-hegemony?
 

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I've noticed what JayB is referring to, and would rule out the road salt theory; they're on the hillsides higher than any salt would be. Smalma probably has it right.
I was down in California (Santa Barbara area) last weekend, and they're loosing trees down there from the prolonged drought. Of course, they have quite the problem with heteronormative cis-privileging narrative institutional meta-hegemony too.
 

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Calling Doctor Olmstead.

TC
 

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I think its some type of beetle. Someone from the forest service service told me when i was out hunting several years, ago. I don't remember anything except its from a beetle. The warmer winters we've been having haven't killed the beetles off, so the trees suffer.
 

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Well, a minimal expenditure of google-fu confirms what I secretly feared but did not want to admit to myself; Spruce Budworm or Mountain Pine Beetle. I knew that some high west slope trees along SR 20 was being devastated, but hadn't seen it along the
I-90 corridor until recently. It gives me a sad.
 

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Another likely insect would be the Douglas fir tussock moth; I believe there were reported infestations of this critter in the Cascades earlier this decade.

If the trees died in a relatively short period of time; say since last summer I suspect the drought was a major contributor. If on the other hand this has been an ongoing process over several years a moth infestation (either the spruce bud worm or Tussock or both) are the likely candidates.

Where are the bug people when we need one?

Curt
 

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Was driving home after doing a bit of kayaking near Snoqualmie Pass and noticed tons and tons of fir trees that looked like they were rust colored from top to bottom. The die-off seemed particularly acute near Exit 38 - with what looked like 2-3 acres of dead trees clustered together. Deciduous trees seemed totally unaffected. The closest thing I can recall is the look of some pine forests in central Oregon during a pine-beetle infestation.

Anyone have any idea what's killing the trees? Some kind of beetle? Virus? Fungus? Lingering effects of last years's drought? Essentializing neocolonialist heteronormative cis-privileging narrative institutional meta-hegemony?
I drive the corridor a lot. As in, daily. Most of those trees got zapped during last year's heat and drought. That said, I haven't personally assessed each tree, and it's possible that the drought weakened them enough that they are suffering from some other opportunistic malady.
 

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I drive over the pass frequently and have noticed the same. I believe its related to stress from last year's drought. I've noticed that the most affected trees seem to be on steeper slopes or areas where I suspect there isn't a lot of soil that could have held moisture last year. When I was in the Bob Marshall Wilderness last August the tips of new growth on of most all the conifers had turned brown. As the trees were stressed for water the new growth was the first to go.
 

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I noticed those dying trees a few times in recent weeks too. I don't think it's drought, as the brown trees are concentrated in a relatively small area. Within that area, lots of them are brown, and then suddenly in every direction the trees are green again. If it were drought, I'd expect to see the effects more broadly dispersed. My gut tells me there is an insect or disease starting there. But I defer to @Richard Olmstead on this one.
 
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