Beetles’ resurgence threatens NM pinon trees

September 22, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — They’re back — the same species of bark beetle that decimated New Mexico’s pinon trees a decade ago.

Local arborists say populations of the match head-sized insect, also known as the ips or the engraver beetle, began increasing alarmingly at the summer’s end.

“Fortunately, their populations didn’t explode until right at the very end of this season,” said Rich Atkinson of Southwest Trees and Landscape. “If they had gotten going in the beginning, we’d be in greater trouble. Now, at least, folks can have warning and do something about it before (the beetles) emerge in the spring.”

Robert Coates of Coates Tree Service said the main difference from the beetle infestation a decade ago is that the current one comes as the Santa Fe area finally is getting lots of rain.

“We’re hoping and praying that this summer rain continues and we have a lot of snow this winter, and this thing doesn’t break out like it did before,” he said. “So far, basically, what we’re finding is Login to read more

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