Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Tree removal begins and testing recommended for dying trees

 

August 20, 2020

Christopher Green/Pine Bluffs Post

Testing has been recommended after several of the nearly 100-year-old spruce trees bordering the Pine Bluffs Cemetery have started dying; removal of the dead trees began Thursday, Aug. 13.

A needle miner was also found in the long needle pines that are in the cemetery, said Mayor Alan Curtis at the Monday night Town Council. These small larvae cause the yellowing seen on the needles; however, this is not what's killing the large spruce trees bordering the cemetery, confirmed Clark Young, Laramie County Conservation District Tree Specialist.

"The spruce trees are likely suffering from something in the root system," said Young, who was in Pine Bluffs last week investigating.

Young says the remaining spruce trees could possibly be saved but tissue samples will need to be sent to Fort Collins, and water and soil samples will need to be sent to the University of Wyoming to determine an exact cause in order to move forward with treatment.

"People in that general area need to be advised that maybe they want to do some spraying as well," said Curtis, referring to spraying for the needle miners found in the cemetery's pines.

Christopher Green/Pine Bluffs Post

This discovery comes shortly after the hailstorm of 2016 wiped out several of the spruce trees that are planted throughout Pine Bluffs. 4-year-old Cottonwood trees are now planted at the park where some of these massive evergreens once stood.

One of the few remaining trees at the museum was struck by lightning about 2 years ago, said Mary Chowns, Curator of the Pine Bluffs Museum. "It just literally exploded"

Pine Bluffs residents originally brought the spruce trees here from Laramie in the 1920s, said Chowns. The trees have grown along with the town for what is estimated to be around a century.

"It really is sad to see them being removed but there doesn't seem to be much of a choice" said Chowns

Most of what remains of the spruce trees can be seen at the museum and cemetery.

 

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