Pedal to metal on beetle battle |

Pedal to metal on beetle battle

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

– Breckenridge pine beetle hotline: (970) 547-3131, ext. 1010. Property owners should leave their name, physical address, legal address (if known), phone number and e-mail address to schedule a timely pine beetle inspection. Additional questions can be directed to town planner Jenn Cram, (970) 547-3116.

– The important dates for the Town of Breckenridge and homeowners are:

June 30: Recommended day to cut down beetle-infested trees and to inform the town that the trees are down so the town can pick them up for chipping.

July 15: Last day the Town will provide chipping for free in 2007.

BRECKENRIDGE ” Voracious hordes of mountain pine beetles have swept into the Breckenridge area faster than expected, leading to a backlog among the approved contractors who can properly dispose of the trees by chipping them ” and hopefully the beetles ” into oblivion.

“We’re asking Breckenridge property owners to schedule their appointments with contractors as soon as possible,” said spokesperson Kim DiLallo. “We understand the contractors are really busy. The town will work with property owners.

DiLallo explained that Breckenridge will pay for the chipping through July 15, as long as the trees are cut and stacked properly by the road.

The timing is crucial because the next generation of pines beetles will fly from infested trees beginning in mid-July, searching for new targets.

“Logs will be chipped and removed first and slash later. The logs are a priority, since the slash does not contain beetles,” DiLallo said. “Property owners should not allow the infested logs to be taken as firewood, this only spreads the problem to other areas,” she said, adding that healthy trees should be sprayed or cut down by June 30, despite the July 15 deadline.

DiLallo said the town has been getting numerous calls from people who are concerned about the impending deadlines. The best approach is to make an appointment as soon as possible, she said.

“We understand that the contractors are very busy so the earlier deadlines may not be met. Bottom line, the town will work with property owners who are proactive in scheduling tree removal and then communicating with us,” DiLallo said.

By some estimates, the bugs will kill perhaps up to 80 or 90 percent of the susceptible mature trees in Summit County and the wider region. The approach in Breckenridge is to tactically target preservation of some high-value trees with extensive spraying, hoping that they survive as the wave sweeps through.

We’re doing what we can to preserve property values,” said Chip Buttrick, who heads up the town’s beetle-fighting team.

Under a recently adopted town ordinance, infested trees have been declared a nuisance and property owners are responsible for removing them.

The town will help with the cost of chipping the dead and dying trees. To speed up the labor-intensive process, homeowners need to stack the cut trees by the road neatly, butt-ends out, with limbs in separate piles, Buttrick said.

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