If you are unaware of the current mountain pine beetle and bark beetle epidemics wreaking havoc on the forests of Colorado, it is an important topic to be educated about. According to an article from the Aspen Times, “The Forest Service estimates that the mountain pine beetle alone has wiped out 3.18 million acres of forest in Colorado since 1996, while bark beetles in general have devastated 6.6 million acres in the state.”
With the cold temperatures Colorado has been experiencing you would think the beetles would be killed and the devastation they are causing would decrease. This is not necessarily the case. Jan Burke, tree specialist with the White River National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Glenwood Springs, said research has shown in order for the obliteration of beetle population there must be a to be an extended amount of “uncharacteristically cold stretch.” The warm weather and droughts plaguing Colorado in the past decade or so, this has allowed for the propagation of these pests.
Although the beetle population has dropped off considerably over the past 2 years, the damage has been done. The dwindling number of mature trees in the forests of Colorado does mean that there are less trees for the beetles to attack. Maybe there is an end to the widespread desolation of Colorado’s forests in sight.
An option in rebuild the forest of Colorado would be to plant or replace with healthy Spruce Trees. The mountain pine and bark beetles do not affect the Blue Spruce Trees. These trees are a great replacement option for lodgepole pines. For more information about the Blue Spruce Trees, contact Spruce Point Tree Farm today!
Here is a very informative video from the New York Times on the effect Beetle Kill has had on forests in Colorado.