Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fighting Pinon Bark Beetles

I know, I haven't posted much here lately. Life is busy. And when I do get a chance to post, it's on my photography blog. I'd love to put more things here (the list in my head is long), but other things come first.

We've been busy with travel and housework. I've been busy with kids, photos, housework, preparing schoolwork, and three million other things. Biker Boy has been stressing about the destruction that the pinon bark beetles are causing this year. We lost a big stand of trees last year and this year is not looking any better. It's been so dry and we have quite a few old and large pinon trees. Biker Boy just felled another huge stand of dead trees that were covered in beetles. It was yucky.



The area look so barren now without those large trees. Imagine a few huge pinon in this photo.


Biker Boy uses an electric pole saw to cut the trees. He stacked the infected wood and sprayed it with an insect killer approved for beetles. Then he sprayed some of the young (and healthy?) trees nearby. I hope we don't lose our little Ponderosa tree that was a Christmas tree one year.



We're trying to water the trees that we can save. We're in a drought and water is limited. Our barrels have run dry, so we're having to use the well water now. I hate to use the well water for the plants, but sometimes it's necessary.


The kids found joy in stacking wood and helping to cover the cut wood. The earned chore points and a few scratches on their legs.

 

The pile of wood was sprayed and then we cover it with tarps or plastic to solarize the wood and kill any remaining beetles and their larva. We did that last year too.


I seem to have a keen eye for trees that are dealing with beetles. I pointed out 2 big ones, even closer to our house, that looked like they were beginning to brown. Biker Boy sees it now. Bummer. We're not going to have any big trees left. Well, at least now I'll have lots of space to put in that zip line I'm dreaming of.

What are your plans for the week?

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