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Pine beetle infestation at Westside Elementary School

Hood River County School District (HRCSD) consulted with a local tree care company and determined at least four trees at Westside Elementary School have a pine beetle infestation. The affected trees are located in the northwest grove across from the gym entrance. 

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, the tree care company will cut down and properly dispose of the infested trees. The school district is working with the company to implement preventative measures to save the remaining trees in that zone, including attaching pheromone packs that signal to the beetle that the tree is already full of beetles so they do not attack the tree further. 

Removing the trees that are infested is necessary to attempt to save other trees on campus. Other pine trees across campuses of the school district will receive the pheromone packs in effort to avoid future infestation. If infestation is not addressed, the pine beetles may spread to other nearby trees. Ultimately, pine beetles kill the tree, creating an increased fire hazard. 

Additional trees may be lost but the goal is to keep as many trees healthy and standing as possible.