P.O. Box 2631
Monument, CO 80132
March 1st, 2007
To All Bent Tree Property Owners:
We again face the ongoing serious bark beetle problem. It is necessary that we identify infested trees and remove them before the beetles hatch and spread to other trees starting in the Spring and through early Fall.
We encourage you to survey your property now, identify trees that you suspect to be infested, and notify John Anderson at 719-488-3667. He or a member of his Forestry Committee will tour your property, confirm any infestation, and give you recommendations for appropriate removal of the tree(s).
Here is how the beetles kill the trees: Mountain pine beetles (MPBs) are the most damaging insects in the western United States. MPBs attack the trees from spring through early fall. The beetles lay eggs which become larvae and begin to tunnel or make galleries under the bark. They spread a blue stain fungus that plugs up the water-conducting cells in the xylem tissues. Most trees cannot combat the infestation, and die between late summer and through the winter. Then, from April to October, the mature beetles exit these trees to find new trees to infest and continue their one-year life cycle. If left uncontrolled, the population of beetles in one tree will infest and kill at least two similarly sized trees over the next year.
Here is what to look for: The infected trees will try to eject the beetles by producing popcorn-looking pitch tubes (sap) on the bark of the tree where the beetles have bored in to lay their eggs. If the tree canít handle the stress, it dies, and the needles begin turning brown at the top of the tree and continue downward through the tree. This is a sign that the tree has died or is dying and cannot be saved.
An important note: If the tips of the needles are still green and only the needles below each branch tip are turning brown, it is natural shedding. But if the entire tip of the branch is brown, the tree has lost its battle with the beetles and must be removed before the beetles hatch and continue their devastation.
If you believe you have trees that have been attacked by MPBs, we strongly urge you to contact us. You can also contact the Colorado State Forest Service at 687-2921, or the El Paso County Forestry Office at 529-7656. Do it between now and April to determine if your trees have beetle infestation. By doing it now, you have more flexibility in properly disposing of them before they spread.
We want to protect our Bent Tree forest and help you protect the value of your property. If you want our help, call me at 719-488-3667.
Chairman, Bent Tree Forestry Committee