Dendroctonus Ponderosae spells trouble | SummitDaily.com
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Dendroctonus Ponderosae spells trouble

Much has been written lately about the mountain pine beetle epidemic that is confronting Summit County.The mountain pine beetle, glorified by this lengthy Latin name, increases an already serious potential fire problem within our community.The pine beetle is a natural event. We cannot and will not prevent it from turning our national forest of lodgepoles brown. Our forests, predominately of lodgepole, are dense 100- to 120-year-old growth lacking diversity in size and species. Unless mother nature provides an unusually prolonged cold snap this winter or a woodpecker invasion, this will not happen. These little beetles and the trees they infect multiply in exponential proportions each year.Our urban areas with homes and structures need to be protected. Preventative spraying from a licensed and reputable outfit can save appropriate lodgepoles from the beetle if applied properly. A per-tree cost of $10 to $15 is far less than a property owner facing $150 and higher to remove a dead tree. Defensible space needs to be established, and dead standing and lying need to be removed.Now is the time to inspect your lodgepole trees for infestation. It is a good time to remove these trees before the rush starts next spring. Tell-tale signs are fresh boring dust at the base of the tree with pitch tubes protruding from the trunk. This is normally found in trees more than 6 inches in diameter.More information can be found at http://www.summitpinebeetle.org. For more information, the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Bullet #5.528 on the mountain pine beetle is available at their CSU office at the County Commons.


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