Attention Homeowners in High Prairie Farms and Timbers Area
Insect pest alert!
The High Prairie Farms Metropolitan District considers the trees of our pine forest as one of our community’s most valuable assets. The District continually invests in efforts to promote and maintain the health of our trees through wildfire mitigation, tree spraying and when necessary, tree removals. Tree maintenance operations in District open space are performed by both our land manager and certified arborists. Recently, High Prairie Tree & Turf, our contract arborist, noted tree damage in another area of Parker that could signal an outbreak of an insect pest known to attack and defoliate fir and spruce trees. Unlike pine beetles that bore into the bark of pine trees and other coniferous trees, the Tussock Moth and associated larvae (caterpillar) attacks the tree primarily from the top-down and outside-in feeding on the needles and if left unchecked, can completely strip the tree of all foliage. Besides damage to the trees, the spines of the caterpillar can cause a nasty skin rash if handled.
It should be noted that the pest has not yet been found on any trees in the District, but since the insect is highly mobile and can fly or be carried on the wind easily, it may be a matter of time before some landscape trees in our area are attacked. Homeowners should be on the lookout for signs of damage, particularly to Douglas Fir and Blue Spruce trees in their landscape. The Colorado State Forest Service is aware of the sighting, is monitoring the situation and has provided a helpful and informative Fact Sheet from the CSU Extension Service.
High Prairie Farms Metropolitan District
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