The Ips beetle is making headlines along the Front Range as it attacks Colorado's very own state tree. While there are 11 different species of Ips beetles found in Colorado, residents of Louisville should focus their attention on Ips hunteri. This particular Ips species is now invading Colorado blue spruce trees along the Front Range.
The City of Fort Collins has condemned and removed several of its Blue Spruce trees due to Ips hunteri infestation. Other cities in the area have experienced similar levels of Ips hunteri invasion.
Presently the City of Louisville has not experienced this level of outbreak but a few trees have been attacked. The City Forester will be monitoring the City's spruce trees on an ongoing basis to keep abreast of current infestation levels and taking preventative measures to guard against an outbreak
To prevent Ips Beetle attacks, use practices that promote general tree health. Most important is maintaining adequate soil moisture levels throughout the entire year. Maintain trees on a regular watering schedule. Ips beetles rarely attack healthy trees. Instead they attack stressed trees, typically recently transplanted, and/or drought inflicted.
Tree Care Professionals in the area are reporting finding Ips hunteri on large, mature, drought-stressed Colorado blue spruce in urban landscape settings. More detailed information concerning Ips hunteri is available from Colorado State University.
For more information about general tree maintenance or to request a consultation, please contact City Forester Chris Lichty at 303.335.4733.