Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pine Beetle Now in Denver

The tree killing pest known as the mountain pine beetle has moved out of the mountains and is now in Denver and its suburbs. The Denver Post reports that the beetle can kill trees in urban areas like Denver and Boulder and suburbs such as Littleton, Lakewood and Centennial.

This means that homeowners throughout the west need to be on the lookout for the beetle. The beetle can quickly kill all of the pine trees on your property. Trees in urban settings do appear to be more resistant to the beetle but they can succumb. Professional arborists believe trees in the city are better watered so they are more likely to resist the beetle.

How to Tell if the Pine Beetle is on Your Property
If you see the needles on a pine turning brown it is a sign there is something wrong. Carefully watch your trees and the trees in your neighborhood for this. If you see a lot of pines on neighbors’ property there’s a good chance the pine beetle has moved into your neighborhood.

If you think the pine beetle is in the neighborhood hire a professional service to spray your trees. Spraying will usually stop the beetle and protect the trees.

The many urban and suburban neighborhoods in the Denver area that are adjacent to open space and forested land are more vulnerable to the pine beetle. The beetle can easily spread from trees on forested property to trees in yards. Mountain properties are more likely to be vulnerable than those in flatter areas like Denver and Aurora, but the beetle can crop up anywhere.

Things You Can Do to Prevent the Pine Beetle’s Spread
There are some steps you can take to prevent the pine beetle from spreading to your property. They include:

  • Have dead or dying pines removed as soon as possible.
  • Have your trees inspected by a professional arborist.
  • Cover firewood with plastic or store it in a shed or garage. Much of the firewood in Denver is beetle killed pine from the mountains.
  • Have trees sprayed if you think beetles are present

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