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Eastern larch beetles crawl on a small piece of tamarack bark University of Minnesota researcher Fraser McKee has peeled off. The darker horizontal lines are cavities the beetles have dug to lay their eggs. The tree sends resin to the area to try to repel the beetles. But the beetles emit an aggregation pheromone to attract more beetles to the tree, which can overwhelm its defenses. Dan Kraker | MPR Photo

Climate change might enable beetles’ rise against pine trees

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Dan Kraker

MPR News 91.3 FM

LAKE OF THE WOODS COUNTY — Minnesota’s coniferous trees are facing newly formidable foes: beetles.

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Stately, tall white pines all over the state and the tamaracks of northeastern Minnesota have had their natural defenses from beetles weakened. Scientists suspect climate change is to blame in both cases.

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