PINE BARK BEETLE EPIDEMIC
Why is this happening?
• Over the last century, many of our forests have become unhealthy and overcrowded. Things were very different 100 years ago. Our forests were more diverse. They evolved with natural cycles of wildfire, flooding, avalanches, windstorms and insect and disease outbreaks. But changes in our values led to a shift in forest management. We started fighting fires to save the homes in the wildland urban interface and stopped letting nature take its course.
• Beetle epidemics are a natural part of forest ecosystems, but the old age of many of the state’s lodgepole pine forests makes them susceptible to large-scale epidemics. Old forests, drought, lack of forest management, years of fire suppression, and warm temperatures all have a role in fueling this current epidemic.
What can we do before the Bark Beetle Epidemic Arrives in Conifer?
• Get rid of dead trees, including limbs and slash, standing & on the ground from your property, to minimize threat of wildfire.
Haul to the Slash Sites
Rent or purchase a wood chipper and chip the wood / use the chips for mulch
Hire contractors to cut and chip the wood or use other methods
Use the wood for firewood
• Create defensible space around your home and start a forest management plan. Create a healthy forest. Both Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pines are attacked by Bark Beetles. Pick up and read “Forestry – Creating Wildfire-Defensible Zones no. 6.302”
• Preventative Spraying of un-infested, healthy trees between May 1st & July 1st Candidate trees are normally big (6 inches in diameter+) valuable ponderosa or lodgepole pines. Pick up & read “MPB #2 Preventative Spraying for Mountain Pine Beetle”
What if you already have trees that have been attacked by the Mountain Pine Beetle?
What to look for:
• Popcorn-shaped masses of resin, called “pitch tubes,” on the trunk
• Boring dust in bark crevices and on the ground
• Foliage turning yellowish to reddish throughout the entire tree crown
• Evidence of woodpecker feeding on trunk
• Presence of Mountain Pine Beetle eggs, larvae, pupae and/or adults.
• Bluestained sapwood.
What to do:
• SOLAR TREATMENT WITH PLASTIC (logs must be correctly wrapped in plastic by May 1st) Pick up and read
“MPB #1 Solar Treatment of Mountain Pine Beetle Trees”
• MECHANICAL TREATMENT (tree must be cut down and entire trunk chipped or de-barked prior to June 15th)
Pick up & read “Mountain Pine Beetle Quick Reference”
• IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO GET THE SOLAR TREATMENT OR MECHANICAL TREATMENT DONE PRIOR TO THESE DEADLINES. YOU MUST KILL THE MOUNTAIN PINE BEETLES BEFORE THEY FLY IN JULY. ONCE THEY FLY, THEY WILL ATTACK OTHER LIVE TREES AND EACH MALE AND FEMALE WILL LAY APPROXIMATELY 75 EGGS THAT WILL BECOME ADULTS AND FLY THE NEXT YEAR.
• Become informed. Read the literature that we have provided.
To all interested Conifer community residents,
Attached is a PDF format of the presentations made at the Mountain Pine Beetle Workshop on May, 2008, which Ingrid Aguayo, forest entomologist has prepared for us.
We also asked the following questions and Ingrid’s answers follow in red:
· Are there maps showing tree types of the area? I know for a fact that many areas in and around Conifer are solely lodgepole pine forests. These maps do not show forest types of the area. You can find a simple version of forest types at
· Many people believe their lodgepole pines to be ponderosa pines and others believe their ponderosa pines to be lodgepole pines. Could you send information on the different types of coniferous trees?
· What can we do now, to get ready for the Pine Beetle Epidemic and wildfire? Create a healthy forest by getting rid of all dead trees and slash, create a Defensible Space, and learn all there is to know about these topics. Read through the attached presentation and go to the following websites
The following PDF format presentations were presented at a Town Hall Workshop, Spring, 2009, by Jeffrey J. Witcosky, Lakewood Service Center Leader , Golden, CO 80401.
Mountain Pine Beetle info pt1
Mountain Pine Beetle info pt2
Mountain Pine Beetle impacts on Ponderosa Pine
Ingrid Aguayo, Ph.D.
Colorado State Forest Service
Colorado State University
5060 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-5060
Office: (970) 491-7282
Jeffrey J. Witcosky
Lakewood Service Center Leader
740 Simms Street
Golden, CO 80401
Voice: (303) 236-9541
Click below to download the PDF format file of the presentations made at the Mountain Pine Beetle Workshop on May 12, 2008.
PineBeetleIssues (pdf document)