What the Ips!?
Ips beetle is an “engraver beetle” that threatens spruce trees along the Front Range. The beetle is generally not destructive to healthy, unstressed trees, however, in an urban setting, there are several risk factors that can cause stress on spruce trees.
These risk factors include-
· root damage
· soil compaction
· drought stress
· nutrient deficiency
Spruce trees that are more susceptible to stress include-
· larger, mature spruce trees and
· newly planted spruce
Ips beetle is diagnosed by the distinct pattern of “top-down” decline in the tree. Engraver damage is rarely expressed immediately. Once a spruce starts the pattern of top-down decline and death, there are no solutions to reverse the damage. Consequently, the best solution against Ips beetle is to apply preventative treatments. Since Ips beetle has multiple generations within a season or year, two treatments are highly recommended: once in the spring, and once again in the middle of summer to catch both windows of generations. By eliminating risk factors and using preventative treatments, spruce trees in our urban forest will continue to thrive.