Now is the time to watch
for Mountain Pine Beetles!Infested
pine trees will begin to fade and turn yellow or brown.Greenleaf can remove and treat these
beetle-trees.Beetles fly to new trees
between mid-July and mid-September, so you need to act quickly to stop them
If you have property in Custer County, call
us and we will come out and inspect your trees for free.
Trees killed by pine beetles, Sangre de Cristo mountains
Close-up of tree killed by mountain pine beetles
Are trees dying on your
property? The problem could be mountain pine beetles. The problem affects
Ponderosa pine. If left unchecked, beetles spread into new trees each year, and
timely control is of extreme importance.
Between July 15th
and September 15th the beetles bore out of the trunk and fly to
neighboring trees up to one mile away. The beetles usually swarm, resulting in
groups of trees being attacked. Beetles often attack trees already stressed by
mistletoe, another fatal parasite. They
then bore into the trees and lay their eggs underneath the bark. The larvae use the trees’ nutrients during
winter to grow and develop. The following
June, the tree foliage begins to fade and turn yellow, while the beetles are
still in the bark completing their maturity.
Control measures include
cutting the trees and removing them from the property or treating them on-site
by enclosing them in 6mm polyethylene plastic.
This heats up the beetles and causes molding of the wood which leads to
their starvation. A chemical spray called Sevin can also be applied
preventatively before beetles attack trees. A variety of other chemicals that
have been used in the past have been discontinued due to health risks.
Many private forestry
companies specialize in beetle
control. Landowners may also get information from the State Extension
Service and the State Forest Service.
Greenleaf Forestry & Wood Products processes woods salvaged from beetle control into a
variety of wood products including paneling, cabins and furniture. Trees killed by beetles have a beautiful and unique bluish coloring. (See photos on our furniture pages.)
Greenleaf suggests property inspections be done in the fall
and control measures scheduled for the winter or spring depending on the extent
of the problem.
In the Wet Mountain Valley area of Colorado, where Greenleaf is located, some speculate that warming trends favor a
beetle epidemic. The nearby Salida and Buena Vista areas have been experiencing a
significant problem and an epidemic in the Buena Vista area has been raising fears of
an outbreak like 1981’s. Len Lankford, Greenleaf's President, says, “We in Custer County have a
chance to stop the beetle through immediate control while the populations are low.