Tree Goo and Insect Attacks


The battle to save trees is underway! In case you haven’t heard lots of forests are put at risk because of insects, like beetles, that can bore their way into a tree trunk and cause tons of damage. When these populations of beetles get out of control entire forests can be devastated, this is one of the reasons why we have to work to understand and better protect trees.

tree bark

Normally if a tree is under attack from an insect that has bored or dug its way into the trunk you have to rip pieces of the bark off of the healthy tree to see what’s going on. This can do damage to the tree trunk but now forestry workers have a new trick up their sleeve, resin! Trees that are under attack produce a large amount of resin. This resin collects in clumps on the tree and researchers can test it for something called Carbon 13 to see if an insect is attacking. This resin doesn’t just show current insect attacks it also acts like a kind of history book. Fossilized resin or amber that was made by ancient trees going back all the way to the age of the dinosaurs can also be tested for insect attacks. This gives us an insider look into what creepy crawly species, like beetles, were up to millions of year ago.
Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate children about the environment. At kids can play games, discover amazing facts, meet animal ambassadors and fundraise to protect biodiversity.