Spraying for Ponderosa Pine Beetles

Asked August 13, 2018, 10:42 AM EDT

My tree service company wants to spray my ponderosas for beetles. I live near the Arapahoe/Douglas/Elbert county lines. I have three big ponderosas, about 10-12 inches in diameter at the base. They are located about 20 feet from 5-6 pine trees (maybe spruce) that do not get sprayed. Our neighbors have a few dwarf pine trees in their landscaping.

They've never suggested spraying before, but perhaps this year is different due to the drought conditions and because our trees are so large now. Should I have my ponderosas sprayed?

Arapahoe County Colorado trees and shrubs

1 Response

I have not heard of any beetle outbreak in pines this summer. However, it's difficult to give you a straight answer to your question. Generally, all trees can fight off pests if they are healthy and growing vigorously. You are right that our current drought has made if difficult for many trees. Here are a couple of questions to consider.

Are your trees under prolonged stress? (Does the overall look of the tree look healthy? Any signs or symptoms of pests in the bark, branches, or canopy of the tree? Did the tree put out new needles and cones this spring?)

Are there any other trees in the area that are being attacked by pests?

Here is some additional information that may help you make a decision. https://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/ag_natr/spray-trees.pdf

http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/mountain-pine-beetle-5-528/

If you are still uncertain, contact the Arapahoe County extension office. You can schedule someone to come look at the trees in person and give you some advice. The charge is around $75.
http://extension.colostate.edu/staff-directory/name/arapahoe-county-extension/

Good luck.