|City crews take out beetle-infested trees|
|Wednesday, 30 November 2011 15:55|
The first known instance of mountain pine beetles inhabiting trees on Skyline Drive dates back to August of 2010. One of the sites where trees were being removed on Wednesday had about 6 trees that the beetles had infected. Gary Garner, an urban forester with the Rapid City Parks Department, says that the trees must be removed now before the beetles spread.Garner says, "It's our best bet I guess to get the trees off the site and that's why we've decided to skid them out of here and take them out to the landfill where they can go through the city's composting operation. It's the best method to destroy the larvae that are currently in the trees." Garner says when looking for infected trees they're looking for sap, if the sap is darker in color that means the tree was infected by mountain pine beetles.
The beetles haven't just been confined to the Skyline Wilderness Area. They have also begun to show up in some residential neighborhoods. Garner says, "We have found it in residential areas, mostly west of Sheridan Lake Road, and again it's just one of two trees in people's yards, but you know it's obviously a concern to people because one of two trees in an area that has an acre or so each can add up." The Parks Department says they'll be back up on Skyline Drive Thursday to do more removal and clean-up.