northdenvernews.com
Pine beetles not the only threat to Colorado trees
Mountain pine beetles have received widespread attention lately, but urban trees and nearly half a million acres of spruce and fir in Colorado also face significant insect and disease threats. The 2009 Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests highlighted these and other concerns in a comprehensive overview of insect and disease problems currently jeopardizing the state’s forests. The Colorado State Forest Service released the report today at the annual Joint Ag and Natural Resources Committee Hearing in Denver. “Spruce beetles have killed nearly all of the large, mature spruce trees in the San Juan Mountains near the headwaters of the Rio Grande River,” said Jeff Jahnke, state forester and director of the Colorado State Forest Service. Jahnke said the state’s spruce beetle infestation nearly doubled in size last year; the beetles were active on approximately 114,000 acres of high-elevation Engelmann spruce in 2009, mostly in southern Colorado