FRANKTOWN, Colo. (CBS4) – A pine sawfly outbreak is projected to once a again wreak havoc on ponderosa pines in Elbert County this year.

The Colorado State Forest Service released a report this week saying many of the pines will suffer another season of moderate to heavy defoliation like was seen last year.

The Forest Service and Fort Collins-based Forest Health Management International conducted egg surveys last fall in this spring to predict “defoliation by the pine sawfly this season, based on counts of egg-infested needles.”

The survey will help landowners decide if they need to mitigate potential tree damage.

The Pine sawfly (credit: Colorado State Forest Service)

The Pine sawfly (credit: Colorado State Forest Service)

“This is the first attempt to predict future defoliation by this sawfly species in Colorado,” said Dan West, CSFS forest entomologist. “We hope to ultimately generate a model to better predict future outbreaks here in our state.”

The pine sawfly is a native insect abundant in the ponderosa pine forests of Elbert and El Paso counties.

To view the full sawfly report, visit www.csfs.colostate.edu/pages/franktowndist.html.

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