The Budworms are Back!

The Colorado State Forest Service Salida District will host a free presentation by Dr. Dan West, CSFS entomologist, titled “The Budworms are Back!” on April 27 in Poncha Springs. The purpose of the presentation is to give landowners and forest users a better understanding of western spruce budworm, which despite its name actually causes more damage to Douglas-fir and white fir trees than spruce trees.

The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in the new Poncha Springs town hall, 333 Burnett Ave. The public is invited to learn about the life cycle of the spruce budworm, how the budworm affects tree health, options for control, other insects associated with Douglas-fir, and an overview of the insect damage detected during aerial surveys in 2016.

The spruce budworm is sometimes confused with the spruce beetle because of similar names. Spruce budworms feed on new needles of Douglas-fir and white fir trees in south-central Colorado, while spruce beetles burrow under the bark of primarily Engelmann spruce trees, generally above 9,000 feet.

Last summer, Methodist Mountain and the Collegiate Peaks sported a brown tinge where Douglas-fir grow. Enough Douglas-fir branch tips were killed by western spruce budworm in early summer to create what looked like a bathtub ring on the mountainsides. Western spruce budworms have been impacting Saguache County for several years and the population is rising in Chaffee and Fremont counties.

“In 2016, more than 200,000 acres statewide were impacted by western spruce budworm, and Chaffee, Fremont and Saguache counties had approximately 50,000 combined acres impacted,” said West. “This presentation is a chance to learn about western spruce budworm, Douglas-fir beetle and possible management options.”

Light refreshments will be provided. A courtesy RSVP is encouraged for preparation purposes by April 24 via email at [email protected] or by calling 719-539-2579.

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