trees and such

david52_gwMarch 10, 2008

Things finally melted off enough that I was able to wander around today and *inspect* stuff, and my Scots Pines are getting absolutely hammered by bark beetles, again. I had to cut down three more last fall and from the looks of things, another dozen this summer. Yikes. So if you have any kind of pine tree, keep an eagle eye on them, the beetles are already active this year, and someone who would know told me that the first 'flight' happened last week. I tried to get some more systemic insecticide, which works if sprayed 2X a summer, but one of the nurseries didn't have any, and the other one had two bottles of acephate (sp) from last year, and the guy said it had been taken off the market.

I cut up the dead pinions that had held up the wisteria, and my daughter counted the rings on one of them. 160 years old. 18" dia at the base, about a foot dia at eye level. I'm using the pieces for firewood in the stove, and one of those pieces of the trunk will heat the house for 12 hours.

My fruit trees are all covered with swollen buds.

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michelle_co(z5 CO)

:-( Sorry about your trees. Here, the new pinyons coming up are as much as 4' high this year & looking beautiful and healthy. Hope springs eternal...

Wish we could burn firewood, but with grandma's trach it's not possible. Too much smoking in the roaring 40's = no smoke now. I like the smell of burning juniper in the woodstove, too.

When my brother built our house (he's a contractor), I asked for a woodstove in our basement and was told, "Nobody ever froze to death in Marvel". :-))))) That still makes me laugh. And I didn't get a stove.

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 11:30PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

David,

I wonder if you might get better results from a trunk implant for delivering systemic insecticides. The link below is about using Acecaps with a couple kinds of beetles -- it might work for you.

I used their iron supplement product, and it was easy to install and worked well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acecaps for beetles

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 12:06AM
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david52_gw

stevation, I've looked at those tree implants, and just checked again at your link, and its $60 to treat 4 or 5 trees - I have about 120 Scots pines left. The treatment also needs to be repeated every year or so. I can treat all of them with the systemic spray for about $25 a year. I mix up the strongest recommended concentrate and just sop the trunk area - that seems to be enough to control it. These are healthy, well watered trees - its just a massive number of beetles. What actually kills the tree is the blue stain fungus that the beetles carry with them.

I'm probably going to have to replace them, so I'm starting up some other small junipers and assorted evergreen trees and plant them as I go along.

I live on the corner of two county roads, so I get a lot of traffic. These Scots Pines are part of a screen that runs along the roads, the border has over 100 green ash trees and all kinds of shrubs - so it isn't as bad as it could be.

Michelle, we used to use propane to heat the house, but that now costs about $300 a month, so I go through about 6 cords of wood every winter, costs $400 a season. Have to admit that about now, early March, our 'thermal standards' are significantly lower - "eh, I'll just go put on a sweater".

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 10:32AM
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ianb_co(5b)

David -

Sorry to hear about your pines. It just about breaks my heart every time I drive over the divide and see the huge swaths of red-brown trees.

Are your fruit trees budding out early, or is this normal timing for them?

Ian

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 11:35AM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Ouch, I worry about everyone and their heating bills. :-( It's good that you have an option.

- Michelle

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 12:02PM
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david52_gw

Ian, I think its pretty normal, and as long as it stays about the temperatures we've been getting, ie 45º day, 15º at night, they shouldn't flower for another month. The last few years, its been far warmer in the spring, and they've flowered earlier, and then get zapped by a frost.

I just got back from spraying the pine trees, and hopefully that will keep the bugs in check for the next few months. And it reminded me to spray dormant oil on the fruit trees - I'll do that later today when I get back from town.

I need to slosh that around, because I have 3 deer now that are very persistent, chewing up the new growth in the perennial beds. Shoo'd them off twice today already.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 12:30PM
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dawny2u2

Hi David, any updates on your success with the spraying?
Also, I missed what type of spray you are using. I checked
one out and it was $60 for 4 trees. Kinda pricey with 17 acres... Although we just have a couple infested so far, they are spreading rapidly through the mountains around us, I'd like to develop a game plan. Also looking into phermones, can't find any locally, will check out online as well. Thanks for any informtion

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 12:25PM
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david52_gw

I was around this morning looking for new beetle damage, and didn't see any, so that spray back in March seems to be working. I'll do it again, probably, mid-July, early Aug to be sure.

The active ingredient is acephate, the systemic. It's sold, or was sold, under several brand names.

But all in all, I think that continually planting more trees, and more diverse species, is the way to approach this. I live on the corner of two busy roads, and needed to get up a privacy screen quickly, and used trees from the Soil Conservancy. In retrospect, I'd have been better off with a wider variety of species.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 5:30PM
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