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. Tree Farmer Alert
  Sunday, January 24, 2010

Colorado Tree Farmers are a network of land- owners that share forestry resources.

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Recent reports that the bark beetle epidemic may be slowing might be a little premature. Results of the annual aerial survey of Colorado and Wyoming forests conducted by the Colorado State Forest Service and the U.S. Forest Service were announced last Friday.

A number of news articles, published over the weekend, contained statements such as:

"The bark beetle's destruction spread across 524,000 new acres in Colorado and Wyoming last year, much of which was in Larimer County, as the beetles began to heavily infest forests east of the Continental Divide."

"If the beetles continue to spread and jump from lodgepole pines to ponderosa pines, which grow throughout the foothills, much of the Front Range could be affected, and it could produce “a very devastating circumstance,” U.S. Forest Service regional forester Rick Cables said.

A forest health survey released on Friday indicated 36,000 acres of new infestation in the Rio Grande National Forest last year,according to Public Information Officer Mike Blakeman.

U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester Rick Cables, one of the spokesmen during the Friday press conference, said "the beetle infestation in the Rio Grande National Forest is a concern because of the potential damage to the Rio Grande headwaters. He said the biggest threat to water is often the fire that can occur as a result of beetle kill."

Private landowners may not be able to stop the beetle's advance, but they can slow it down and mitigate the dangers that arise from it. You can:

  1. Spray or otherwise treat those trees that you just can't afford to live without.
  2.  Identify, cut and treat as many beetle infested trees as you can BEFORE the beetles fly next August and September.
  3.  If the beetles fly before you can cut an infested tree, remove the dead wood safely before it falls or provides fuel for wildfires.
  4.  Consider planting in those areas where most of the trees have died and regeneration is slow.

Throughout the year, we will be providing tips on the best ways to make a difference through Tree Farm Alerts and articles on our website. If you have questions, please write us.
Have a good year.
Your Colorado Tree Farmers

Read the articles:

Number of dying trees doubles in Larimer County - Fort Collins Coloradoan

Beetle epidemic spreads in high country - Alamosa Valley Courier

Western Pine Beetle Outbreak Worsening - KUNC

2009 Forest Insect & Disease Aerial Survey Data





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