Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae; MPB) are bark beetles native to Colorado that will infest pine trees. MPB is always present in our forest at some level; we tend to notice them when they increase in number and begin killing trees.

What to look for...

Dying ponderosa pine tree on Genesee Open Space. This tree exhibited needle death suddenly.
Frass (looks like sawdust) is an indication of beetles recently boring into the tree
Galleries in the wood (under the bark) of the pine tree made by adult beetles and their offspring.
Pitch tubes are the tree trying to push out the beetle using pitch
Blue stain is a fungus carried by the beetle. The blue stain spreads and kills the tree.

What to do if you find MPB in your tree...

If you find a tree with indications of beetle infestation such as frass, it should be removed. Removal should include all of the tree material. To prevent the spread of beetle, the tree should be taken offsite and treated properly. Proper treatment includes whole tree chipping, burning, debarking, or disposal in an area free from other pine trees such as an urban dump site. 

A tree that has MPB infestation cannot be saved. it should be removed to prevent further spread. 

Preventative Measures

  • Hire a certified arborist to preventatively spray non-infested trees
  • Maintain a healthy forest density 
  • Post pheromone packets onto non-infested trees

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