Weeds, trees, and plants Do you know what to do?
Here in the high country we have many environmental concerns and conditions that could potentially affect our properties and way of life. What is a property owner to do? The best thing to do is to become educated. Many local, state and federal agencies have outlined and are now actively enforcing issues such as noxious weed control, fire mitigation, pine beetle control, and mitigation. Home Owners Associations are also getting more involved in various environmental issues and regulations. One of the biggest concerns in Summit County is the threat of wildfire. It is now a requirement in Summit County to institute proper mitigation procedures for all new construction within the county. The Urban Wildland Interface is especially sensitive to this issue. Provisions established by Summit County are meant to aid in the prevention and suppression of fires, and reduce the hazards both to structures from wildland fires and the hazards to wildlands from structure fires. Defensible Space is a designated area surrounding a building or buildings, subject to approved fuel modification measures, intended to reduce fire-spread potential between the structure and the wildland. All slash and flammable debris needs to be removed from the defensible space, except as otherwise expressly designated by the inspector (for example, small amounts may remain for habitat). An exception is firewood storage.Another issue getting a lot of attention these days is what to do about the MountainPine Beetle. According to Colorado State Forest Service web site there are mitigations that can minimize the spread of the Pine Beetles on your property http://csfs.colostate.edu/iandd.htm#mpb. Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) is an insect native to the forests of western North America and is also known as the Black Hills beetle or the Rocky Mountain pine beetle. MPB primarily develop in pines such as Ponderosa, Lodgepole, Scotch & Limber pines, and less commonly affect Bristlecone and Pion pines. These outbreaks can be devastating and have resulted in the loss of millions of trees. So what do you look for? According to the Colorado State Forest Service the symptoms of an infestation are popcorn-shaped masses of resin, called pitch-tubes, (which may be brown, pink, or white in color) found on the trunk where the beetle began tunneling. Boring dust may be found in bark crevices or on the ground immediately adjacent to the tree base. Evidence of woodpeckers feeding on the trunk may indicate a MPB infestation. Patches of bark may be missing where the woodpecker was feeding, and bark flakes found on the ground below the tree. What do you do if you see the symptoms of pine beetles? Logs infested with MPB larvae can be treated in various ways to kill developing beetles before they emerge as adults in summer. Treatments include:1. Burning, burying, or removing infested logs.2. Chemically treating logs with borer spray. (Always carefully read and follow all label precautions before applying insecticides.)3. Solar treatments or setting the logs out in the sun either wrapped in plastic or not. Both procedures are outlined on the following web page http://csfs.colostate.edu/library/pdfs/iandd/insects/mpbsolar.pdfCanada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)Many local homeowners associations now prohibit noxious or invasive plant speciesentering neighborhoods. In an article by Suzanne Muller for the Ruby Ranch Willow Brook Metropolitan District she quotes Wayne Nelson, a White River National Forest Ranger and Management Specialist as saying, In the Western U.S. alone, we are losing approximately 4000 acres a day or 1.5 million acres a year to noxious weeds. He also mentions, that many top ecologists in the country consider noxious weeds to the #1 threat to our native ecosystems and wild areas. An interesting fact that many Colorado residents may not realize is that if you own more than two acres of property you may be eligible for discounted seedlings for planting on your property. Seedling sales are restricted, however; to qualify you must own two or more acres land, use seedlings for conservation practices only (not use seedlings for landscaping or resell them as living plants), and you must purchase seedlings in minimums of 30 to 50 (depending on species and size). Locally, you can find many native plants for your property at Neils Lunsford Nursery, located at 740 Blue River Parkway, or right next door at Alpine Gardens, located at 998 Blue River Parkway. Another great source for native plants is High Country Gardens, a company based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their web page is http://www.highcountrygrardens.com. From these sources you can find plants that would be considered native to our area as well as low maintenance, low water using grass, shrub and flower species that grow well and look beautiful as well. Welcome Home! is compiled using various industry sources by TheTeam@Elich.com. Butch Elich had been helping people with their real estate needs in Summit County for over 20 years. His team includes Associate Broker, Paula Parker, a Summit resident for 23 years, and assistant, Laura Combrink, an avid mountain enthusiast. Find them on the web at http://www.elich.com, or at RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, 305 Main St., Frisco.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.