Common Name: Blue Stain Pine (Sometimes Called Beetle Kill Pine)
Properties: Blue stain pine is not actually any particular species of pine and can even include species of spruce and Alpine fir. It typically is a light softwood, with almost-white to pale yellow coloring and distinctive areas of color. Typically and most well-known is the blue-gray color ranging from a light gray to a deep blue-black, but it can also be brown, red, or purple.
It is also important to note that every piece of blue stain pine, even those from the same tree, can be uniquely colored. Some are mostly clear, looking simply like pine, while others can be almost completely colored. Additionally, there can be holes from where the beetle has bored through, with some pieces being clear and others being riddled with them.
Workability: The fungus that creates the distinctive color of blue stain pine does not affect the wood’s ability to be worked like its un-stained counterparts. However, it is important to inspect pieces for any weaknesses or splintering caused by the beetle activity. A very pocked board is likely not the best choice for any application requiring structural strength versus a board free of holes. Depending on the species, blue stain pine can take stain and finish well, with the color sometimes being enhanced through a light stain or clear finish.
Common Uses: Blue stain pine can be used for the same purposes as other types of pine, fir, or spruce, though its unique coloring can lend it to other applications as well. Along with paneling, flooring, interior trim moulding, construction material, and cabinetry, blue stain pine has been specially applied as mantel pieces, focal wall designs, and furniture.
Availability: Because of blue stain pine’s unique nature, particular colors and grades may be more or less available. Unfortunately for the trees but fortunately for the consumer, the current blight causing the coloring is ongoing and so it appears there will be a decent supply that is relatively inexpensive.
Fun Fact: The coloring of blue stain pine comes from a fungus. This fungus is commonly carried by the mountain pine beetle. The two have a symbiotic relationship where the beetle bores into the wood and the fungus infects the tissue, softening it and making it easier for the beetle to burrow and lay its eggs. Studies have even found that the beetle is actually unable to reproduce without the fungus’s help. Together, the holes and the fungus weaken the tree and eventually kill it. This has caused entire forests to be killed off.
Sears Trostel stocks and distributes a full line of Beetle Kill and Blue Stain products which include Random Length and Random Width lumber, S4S Lumber and Plywood. Below are some of the sizes and products we carry but please call 1-800-950-1928 for a full list of our inventory.
4/4 Beetle Kill
8/4 Beetle Kill
1 X 4 Beetle Kill
1 X 6 Beetle Kill in 8' to 16' Lengths
1 X 8 Beetle Kill in 8' to 16' Lengths
1 X 10 Beetle Kill in 8' to 16' Lengths
1 X 12 Beetle Kill in 8' to 16' Lengths
4 X 8 Beetle Kill Plywood in MDF and Comp Core with 1 or 2 Good Sided
2 X 4 through 2 X 12 S4S in Distribution Quantities
Beetle Kill Paneling in V Groove, Shiplap, Tongue and Groove, or Custom Patterns