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. Tree Farmer Alert
  Monday, May 4, 2009 #2

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

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Damage Assessment from Front Range Snow Storm

  Unfortunately what we have seen is widespread along higher elevations of the NFR foothills.  The large snow accumulation coupled with an extremely high moisture content created tree damage that has not been seen to this extent for many years.  Also unfortunate is that we have a concurrent multi-species,bark beetle epidemic going on.  The terpenes exuded from the tree wounds as well as the fallen material is a strong attractant to bark beetles, specifically Ips spp.  Large populations of Ips can build in a single season due to the multiple, complete lifecycles (3-5) they are capable of.  Ips will continue to cycle in large diameter slash and stems until the moisture content is too low for favorable brood material.  At that time they can start attacking stressed (i.e. storm damaged) trees when their population builds to excessive levels. 

Recommendations include:  1)treating the slash through widely dispersed (and sliced& diced) lop and scatter where the material will dry out quickly, 2) pile and burn this winter, making sure to remove larger diameter (>2" D) before piling, or 3) chipping material where economically and logistically feasible. 

One of the most important aspects is sanitation & salvage; getting the large diameter material out of the woods and not letting it lay around.  That material may then be split for firewood and will dry very rapidly after being split.  Be sure to spread the wood in a shallow layer to aid in rapid drying.  The tree wounds should be pruned according to correctly applied pruning guidelines.  The tree will exude terpenes (sap) through the wounded area whether it was pruned or not.  It is more desirable to correctly prune the affected area where the wound can properly seal with time.  I have attached some fact sheets that go into these points in more detail. (see below)

C. Scott Golden
Forest Health & Utilization Specialist 
Boulder County Parks & Open Space





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