A recent study in the Black Hills compared tree mortality in stands where tree density was reduced compared to stands where no treatment had been conducted. Previous studies had demonstrated the benefit of lowering tree densities to reduce mortality levels caused by bark beetles but most studies have focused on small plots. This study had sampled stands ranging from 35 acres to 365 acres and were widely distributed across the 6,000 square miles of the Black Hills. Results indicate a significant reduction in tree mortality in stands with lower tree densities.
Reductions in tree density can reduce tree mortality levels caused by mountain pine beetle.
Large-scale thinnings across large areas can mitigate landscape-level tree mortality.