June 13, 2011
More ponderosa and lodgepole pines along the northern Colorado Front Range are showing signs of beetle infestation, according to Sky Stephens, forest entomologist for the Colorado State Forest Service.
Based on 2010 aerial detection surveys by the CSFS and U.S. Forest Service, mountain pine beetle activity in lower-elevation stands of ponderosa pine on the Front Range increased more than tenfold from 2009. Most of this activity was observed in Larimer and Boulder counties, where infestations were mapped on 181,000 and 36,000 acres of ponderosa pine forest, respectively.
Visible patches of dying trees may be found in the Poudre and Big Thompson canyons, along Colo. 72 and near U.S. 287 north of Fort Collins, said Stephens, who noted that infested lodgepole pines tend to be redder in color, while ponderosa pines appear more yellow.
Mountain pine beetle life cycle
Emerging adult pine beetles typically depart dying trees to infest new hosts starting in early July, according to Colorado State University.
Late-stage larvae and pre-emergent adults in dead or dying trees may be killed through management measures, said Stephens.
Nearly 3.2 million acres in Colorado have been impacted by mountain pine beetles since the first signs of outbreak in 1996.
For more information about the Colorado infestation, visit CSU’s Mountain Pine Beetle web page.