What’s New – Excerpts from 2009 Earth-Wise Newsletter

Mountain Pine Beetle Still Poses Threat

Due to the devastating effects of mountain pine beetle throughout Colorado, we feel compelled to remind you which tree species are vulnerable to attack and what the best strategies are to protect your pines. As most of you know, mountain pine beetle has already arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley. This insect is native to Colorado and attacks several species of pines. Ponderosa, lodgepole, Scots and limber pines are the most common hosts. The best management practices for mountain pine beetle control are to reduce beetle populations by removing infested trees and spraying high value trees to protect them from attack. The spray should be done in the early summer prior to beetle flight, which typically occurs in July. Likewise, infested trees should be removed prior to beetle flight. Once trees are removed, it is important to properly dispose of the wood in order to kill the insects before they emerge. This can be achieved by: peeling the bark off, placing the logs in a sunny location and covering them with a clear plastic tarp to raise the temperature sufficiently to dry out the cambium, or disposing of the logs in a landfill where they will be buried. Earth-Wise has made, and continues to make, a concerted effort to identify vulnerable pine species and offer a preventative spray on all the properties that we manage. If you have a question or concern about pines on your property, please contact us, so we can ensure the necessary steps to protect your landscape are being taken.

Willow Scale Study Update

As some of you may recall, Earth-Wise worked in conjunction with the Colorado State Cooperative Extension last year to determine the optimum rate to apply Safari insecticide (through soil injections) to achieve effective control of willow scale, an insect that infests aspens, cottonwoods and willows. Earth-Wise chose several sites in Aspen to conduct this trial, and CSU performed the applications. Contrary to our expectations, the preliminary data shows a significant decline in control as the application rate was decreased from the maximum label rate. However, we don’t consider these findings conclusive yet and will be working with CSU again this year to duplicate the trial.