Pine Beetles – Infestation and Tax Concerns

Q: Our neighborhood is in a lather about the pine beetles. They killed two trees in my front yard and they have infested others on a neighbor’s property. When the trees are taken down, should we save the chips? Or will that attract more beetles? Could this tree damage be deducted on our income tax?

A: I recently discovered a publication by the Georgia Forestry Commission that addresses all of your questions. Call them at (800) GA-TREES and request the leaflet on pine beetles. If you are too impatient to wait on the mail, go to their Web site and peruse the publication at your leisure.

The leaflet mentions that the Internal Revenue Service might accept pine beetle damage as a casualty loss. Visit the I.R.S. Web site mentioned below for information in that regard.