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Frisco homeowners remove pine beetle infested trees by May 18

DAILY NEWS STAFF REPORT

FRISCO “The Town of Frisco has completed a survey of public and private property within Town limits to identify pine beetle infested trees. More than 1,501 trees have been marked with a circle of red paint indicating that homeowners must remove the trees from their property. Letters were sent in October 2006 to notify homeowners about the trees that must be cut down and removed by May 18.

Stopping the beetles’ lifecycle will prevent them from infesting more trees and producing another brood. Infested trees cannot be saved from the damaging effects and need to be removed. Felling the tree, emoving the tree from the area, peeling the bark or chipping the tree is the best method of control.

The Town has started cutting and removing more than 700 trees on town-owned land and rights-of-way. In total, there are 1,989 “hit” trees in Frisco that need to be removed by homeowners and the Town of Frisco. The fall 2006 survey of pine beetle trees in Frisco shows nearly 2,000 trees affected compared to 745 trees hit in the 2005 survey. This increase in hit trees follows the pine beetle pattern of close to a three to one increase year to year if diseased trees are not treated or removed.

Public Works Assistant Director Rick Higgins advises that spraying lodge pole pine trees for the pine beetle is an effective way to save trees that are still healthy. “We are finding that small diameter trees are now being hit by the pine beetle, so spraying even the smaller trees is advisable. In other words, homeowners should contact tree services and spray any trees that have a high value on their property, in order to save them,” added Higgins.

Attempts to control previous Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic in this area relied heavily on chemical treatment. Because the use of chemicals was controversial then and probably more so today, it is unlikely that the widespread use of chemicals for MPB control will be repeated.

Treating infested trees in high value areas is justifiable and should reduce future losses to the beetle. There is no guarantee that MPB will not infest trees in your area. Non-infested but “at risk” trees can be protected by preventative spraying, following the removal of the infested trees. Initial attacks on most pine species occur at about eye level and trees immediately surrounding infestations are at higher risk of becoming attacked.

-Trees infested with MPB cannot be saved. The usually die and turn red within one year.

-Infested trees must be cut and treated to prevent the spread of MPB.

-Leaving infested trees untreated will result in more trees being infested the following year.

-Trees infested in the late summer or fall should be treated by the following June.

-Peeling the bark

-Chipping the tree

-Remove wood to a site where there are no pine trees within two miles.

-Burn or scorch the logs; wood does not need to be burned completely.

-Spray is applied to the trunk only.

-Apply spray up to 20 to 40 feet.

-Apply spray annually between May 1 and July 1 for best results.

-MPB have a one year life cycle – starts in mid to late summer and lasts until early September.

-New adults fly from July through early September and lay eggs in a new host tree.

-Eggs hatch into larva in late summer or fall and then mature into adults in mid to later summer.

-MPB favor larger diameter, low vigor trees (80 years and olders and larger than 7″ in diameter. However, there is evidence that MPB is attacking younger and smaller trees.

-Visibile signs of infestation include pitch tubes and boring dust around the base of the tree.

Homeowners are urged to check the local newspaper and the Yellow Pages for tree service contractors.

For more information please call Frisco Public Works at 970-668-0836.


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