There are thousands of dead Engelmann Spruce trees at Cedar Breaks. The cause is the native spruce bark beetle. It bores through the bark and lays its eggs in the tissue that carries nutrients and water through the tree. The larvae eat this tissue killing the tree.
About every three hundred years, an infestation occurs which triggers a renewal of the forest. You can see all the younger, healthy trees doing well. The current epidemic began in 1992 and is nearing its end. The beetle population boom is becoming a bust . . . until next time.
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Near Cedar City, Utah
Part of The Great American West series.
I'll be busy the next few weeks. Commenting will be spotty at best.