The Devastation is Just Beginning
The Rockies are currently experiencing the most devastating mountain pine beetle infestation in history. To date, over 5 million acres have been destroyed. And the beetles are spreading at an exponential rate. In areas such as Grand County, Colorado, over 90% of the forest has already been devastated and currently stands as dead timber, while the destruction in other parts of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains is just getting started. As a result, property values with infected and/or dead trees have significantly decreased.
Fortunately, there’s a team of professionals whose sole purpose is to protect the beauty and value of your trees from the mountain pine beetle and other bark-boring insects: Timberline Tree Spraying and Fertilizing.
Signs of Infestation : Pitch Tubes, Saw Dusting, Browning of Canopy, Blue Stain Fungus, Dead Trees on Neighboring Properties
- Pitch Tubes: Popcorn-shaped masses of resin, called “pitch tubes,” on the trunk where beetle tunneling begins. Pitch tubes may be brown, pink or white
- Saw Dusting: Boring dust in bark crevices and on the ground immediately adjacent to the tree base.
- Browning of Canopy: Foliage turning yellowish to reddish throughout the entire tree crown. This usually occurs eight to 10 months after a successful MPB attack.
- Blue Stain Fungus: Blue-gray discoloration of sapwood in wedge shapes of infested trees due to a fungus inoculated solely by the mountain pine beetle.
The mountain pine beetle has a one-year life cycle. In late summer, adults leave the dead, yellow-to-red needled trees in which they developed, looking for living, green trees, which they attack by tunneling under the bark.
After mating, the beetles form a vertical tunnel under the bark and produce about 75 eggs. Upon hatching, the larvae (grubs) tunnel and eat their way away from the egg gallery. The grubs then spend the winter under the tree’s bark. They continue feeding on the tree in the spring, before transforming into pupae in June and July. The majority of the beetles then usually exit the tree from late July through mid-August. These newly emerged beetles then hunt for living, green trees and the cycle starts all over again. That’s why it’s so important to spray your trees in April-June, before the beetles start to fly.
Mountain pine beetles also transmit blue stain fungi, which helps the beetles kill the tree. The fungi give a blue-gray appearance to the sapwood.
Meet the mountain pine beetle experts
At Timberline Tree Spraying and Fertilizing, we’ve been taking the fight to the beetles for the past decade. Our spraying equipment is powerful enough to reach effective spray heights while keeping the chemicals agitated for maximum coverage and maximum success.
By using environmentally friendly sprays such as Bifenthrin and Permethrin, we have achieved a 95% success rate of preventing beetle attacks. Our proprietary mixture of pesticide and adjuvant is oil-based, so it penetrates the bark quickly to maintain a level of toxicity that lasts for the entire flight of the beetle with just one application. And since it penetrates the bark so thoroughly, it won’t wash off during rain, and won’t contaminate your ground water. Best of all, our spray doesn’t simply repel the beetles, it kills them.
Beetle Management Options
There are several ways to fight the mountain pine beetle.
THINNING – Thinning the forest promotes the health of the trees, which makes them more capable of fending off beetle attacks. Also, the healthier the forest, the less likely it is that a beetle epidemic can get started. However, in most residential areas, thinning is not possible, or the developers and/or HOA have already done it. Also, thinning the forest is considered a long-term approach, and does little to fight the beetles once they’ve established a foothold. In fact, the epidemic is moving so quickly that even the tree stands that have been thinned are still being attacked.
SPRAYING – Spraying is the single most effective method of protecting trees from a beetle attack, with up to a 95% success rate when done correctly with the right chemicals, equipment and spraying protocols.
EFFECTIVE TREE SPRAYING
Pesticides: Pyrethoids such as Bifenthrin and Permethrin have less impact on the environment and are less toxic, making them Timberlines chemical of choice. Carbaryl is another option, but because of its increased toxicity, protective requirements and higher costs, many home owners don’t want this chemical sprayed on their trees. The freshness of the chemical is also very important, which is why we use chemicals the same year we purchase them.
Weather Conditions: Trees must be dry after precipitation before they can be sprayed, and they must dry out before the next precipitation. Wind must be moderate so the spray can reach effective spray heights and adequately cover the trunk, and temperatures must be above 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
VERBENONE: – Commonly referred to as pheromone packets, these packets are more expensive than spraying and studies by the U.S. Forest Service found that the use of these packets were not effective in reducing beetle attacks.
Clearly, spraying is the best way to protect your trees against the mountain pine beetle.
Why Should You Spend Money Trying to Save Your Trees
Property Value: Trees have a significant impact on the value of a property. Properties without trees are worth substantially less than those with trees.
Cost: When compared with the cost of removing infested and/or dead trees, and the subsequent loss in value of your property, spraying is by far the least expensive option. Even better, you get to keep your trees and protect your investment.
Insurance: Properties with large numbers of dead trees are becoming uninsurable, and therefore unsellable, as no lender will lend money for a property that can’t be insured.
Effectiveness: When done by a reputable spraying company, the success rate can be 95% or greater.
Safety: Permethrin and Bifenthrin are environmentally friendly and can be used with no harm to humans, wildlife or the water table.
Privacy: Trees provide an important privacy barrier that can’t be replaced once they’ve been removed.
Wind and Noise: Without the trees, wind and other noises will be more noticeable.
Beauty: Healthy trees add great beauty to your property.
Good Neighbors: The more people who band together to implement a forest management program, the better your chances of everyone saving their trees.
Whether you’re fighting the mountain pine beetle or other bark-boring insects, it’s time to draw a line in the dirt. It’s time to call the experts at Timberline Tree Spraying and Fertilizing. Learn more about why you should choose Timberline here.