Ips beetles, also known as engraver beetles, burrow under tree bark before tunneling through the tree – damaging and killing pine and spruce trees.
There are eleven species of Ips beetles in Colorado – all unique from one another. On pines, they follow the typical playbook – attacking weak and severely stressed trees. Spruce Ips are much more aggressive – attacking trees that appear healthy.
When the beetle feeds on the bark, it causes total disruption of water flow to the needles – causing them to dry out.
Spruce needles drop off green, while pine needles fade to brown. This happens without warning. Once the beetle is discovered, there is no treatment to save the tree.
What Swingle recommends:
Spruce trees should be sprayed twice a year – once in the spring and once in the summer. Pine trees should be sprayed at least once in the spring. Watering both is essential during all seasons – including winter.
The challenges of the Ips spray application:
In order to protect your tree(s), the spray must reach to the very top. In most cases, this will entail a high-pressure spray application.
Many spruce and pine trees are located near property lines or in tight locations. Both you and your neighbors must accept that the spray drift will migrate and deposit on other plants and objects in your yards. There might be trees that we cannot treat due to safety concerns.
How to protect your valuable spruce and pine trees from Ips:
Multiple generations of beetles fly between trees beginning in March and through October.
Keep in mind, even when our rigorous recommendations are followed, we cannot guarantee that your trees will be free from infestations. Contact Swingle to schedule timely Ips spray applications.