We live on 3.5 acres in a part of Larimer County Colorado that has been badly affected by pine beetle kill during 2007-2008-2009-2010.
Last year (2008) we had 3 trees obviously attacked by mountain pine beetles. They were cut down, bucked, and covered in plastic for solar sterilizing. Two others were questionable but left standing. That was a mistake made through our inexperience.
The the 11 acres directly adjacent to ours were loaded with beetle trees (Many of the images on this site were actually photographed on that heavily-invested property). The 15 acres adjacent to that are also heavily infested.
We protected our common border of the properties with verbeonone pouches every 20 - 25 feet. We also protected the border of our property and the Rocky Mountain National Park with a perimeter application of verbenone pouches. Selected "high-value" trees near the cabin were also selected for pouch-application.
2009: While the 26 acres adjacent and further down the hill continue to deteriorate, the 3.5 acres protected by verbenone had only one new tree infested with pine beetles. (The two previously-questionable trees were dead, and the third tree in the trio-stand was newly infested - showing pitch-outs. We should have cut them last year. The stand had no verbenone pouches, as it was isolated and not considered valuable. They were ALL cut down and taken to the county burner for disposal.)
The same protection applied in 2008 was applied again in early June 2009. No signs of any infestation were apparent in October 2009 (Trees newly attacked usually show pitch tubes by this time).
June 2010: The attacked trees on the 11 untreated acres next to us continue to multiply. Nine more majestic, huge lodgepoles near the cabin are newly infested. We don't walk the rest of the 11 acres, so don't know how many are in the woods away from the home site. Nothing to be done, as the owners of the property have no interest.
On our Verbenone-protected property, only one tree was found to have pitch tubes - in the center of the property. Two trees affected by ips beetles. All three were cut and burned. We have applied Verbenone again this year. More updates next summer.
June 2011: No new pine beetle trees on our protected property. 5 new trees 500 yards up the road on untreated property.
June 2012, 2013: No new pine beetle trees on our protected property.
Sept 2015: Lots of moisture the last couple of years has helped keep the trees healthier. New neighbors have at last purchased the adjoining infested 11 acres and have cut about 30 dead standing and/or infected trees and gotten rid of them. No new pine beetle trees on our protected property, but we continued to use Verbenone to be pro-active.
2010: We live near Nederland, Colorado. Last year the ski resort sprayed carbaryl (Sevin) up and down the mountain. It traveled in the atmosphere over the town and many residents were sickened by it. After losing a very beautiful tree near the house in 2007, we have used Verbenone pouches on the rest of our trees for two years. I think we were one of the first to lose a tree, but many more were lost last year by neighbors. We still have all of our majestic Ponderosas standing since we started the Verbenone. We'll certainly use it again this year.
Three years ago we sprayed our trees with a toxic spray to prevent pine beetle attack. We didn't lose any trees, but the meadow birds left the area (I hope they didn't die), and we were without our bird friends until early Fall.
Having regretted that toxic decision, we have used Verbenone on our Poderosa Pines surrounding our two family cabins for 2 years. The Allenspark, Colorado area was hit very hard last year by the pine beetle. It is only a breeze away. "Knock on healthy wood", we haven't lost a tree yet. AND we have a mountain bluebird nesting in one of the trees - safe from toxic chemicals.
Our area was hit hard this year by the MPB. We saw signs last year and treated with Beetle Block in early June. We still had a few hits on the 5 acres we own, but they were confined to areas we had not protected. We cut the trees down and managed to burn them.
We see LOTS of problems surrounding us this year. I am worried about people not being able to burn due to the draught conditions we have been experiencing.
Last year we saw lots and lots of problems in the Sacramento Mountains. We cut nearly 40 beautiful pondorosa pines on just our 3 acres. I have re-planted trees to keep the area looking like it is alive. The beetles have already cost me thousands of dollars.
Lots of damage near Cloudcroft, and Mayhill as well. I hope everyone is finally seeing the danger and using the Verbenone Pouches to slow this thing down. We had only 3 trees affected this year, and those were on a side adjacent to a devastated, untreated acreage next door. I have already purchased more packets this year. A small price to pay compared with the ugly damage and expensive aftermath.
There are pine beetle problems in this area of the state. We lost 2 trees last year before we knew what the beetle was. This year we combined our purchase of Verbenone with our neighbors (who used it last year). We don't see any signs of problems on our property this fall, and I am told we would see pitch tubes or red tops starting on the trees by Oct-November. I recommend the Verbenone to anyone who will listen.
We just moved from Texas to Allenspark this past summer. We were advised by our new neighbors to use Verbenone. You can see the recent mountain pine beetle damage all around the area. We have two grand Ponderosa Pines whose loss would be devastating. It costs much less than getting the trees sprayed, so we will continue to use it.
The beetle activity here seems to have been calmer in the last couple of years. We have continued to protect our trees with the verbenone pouches, but we couldn't get them last year. There was a shortage. I am more worried this year because we have not gotten the usual moisture this winter to keep the trees healthy. I'm purchasing pouches early to avoid the shortage if it develops this year.
Pine beetles are making their presence known in these two states in a big way this year. Both states experienced a huge uptick in infestation starting last year that continues through this season.
Montana added Missoula, Kalispell, and Billings to the list of hard-hit areas. And the beetles continue to move.
Two years ago, Montana was caught off guard and the flight season lasted longer than anticipated. Most protection ran out before the beetles quit flying. That added to the areas that became infested.
The worst news about New Mexico is that the Beetle is already flying in 2014 season. New Mexico will experience a double flight season due to its lower latitude.
The New Mexico Forest Service is recommending treating twice this season:
Once immediately, and again in August to keep protection going through November and snow season. (No matter which brand of Verbenone packets you choose, treating twice in New Mexico is necessary.)
Colorado has seemed quieter this season. Maybe because many of the susceptible trees are already dead - particularly on the Western Slope of the Rockies. However, the foothills city of Ft. Collins is spraying tons of Carbaryl pesticide (regardless of its impact on the population and wildlife) in an effort to contain severe beetle outbreaks in the nearby mountain areas (near Red Feather?). They are also anticipating a large Ash bore problem.
To keep poisons to a minimum, it is necessary for you to continue to stand guard against the beetles so that cities like Ft Collins can feel secure enough to treat with fewer toxic chemicals.