The past few years’ weather patterns have been unpredictably variable and have taken a toll on vegetation. Click the following link for a CSU extension video containing some information and tips on taking care of your plants and trees.
Evergreen sawflys have been found in our area around Elizabeth and Kiowa and are causing significant damage to ponderosa pines just east of the Metro District. These pests are different than the Ips and Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) the District has been treating trees for in the past. This pest, specifically the worm (larvae) are usually found in large numbers and can defoliate a pine tree in a matter of days. Unlike the pine beetles, sawflys do not bore into and under the bark nor do they carry (vector) the “blue stain” virus that dooms most beetle infected trees to a slow but certain death. However, the larvae can kill trees by rapid defoliation and must be directly sprayed with an appropriate pesticide (same chemicals as for the many pine beetles) to control the pest.
These pests have NOT been reported within the Metro District at this time but homeowners should be on the look out and report any signs of insect activity to the Colorado State Forest Service.
Attached is a multipage report from the Franktown District of the CSFS and a brief single page fact sheet from the CSU Extension Service.