Carbondale considers insecticide for mountain pine beetle | VailDaily.com

Carbondale considers insecticide for mountain pine beetle

John Stroud
Carbondale, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE , Colorado” Another pest outbreak, this time the mountain pine beetle infestation that is ravaging Colorado’s forests, is challenging Carbondale’s chemical-free policy.

At a special Town Board meeting on Tuesday, trustees will consider a town Tree Board recommendation to use the commercial insecticide Onyx on “three or four” select trees located on public rights of way.

The trees are ones town officials have determined to be of high value and worth saving, if possible.

“Onyx would not be used in a town park,” Carbondale Public Works Director Larry Ballenger said in a memo to the trustees. “The decision to use Onyx would be made by the town landscape manager on a tree-by-tree basis.”

The tree board also recommends continued use of a less-toxic treatment called verbenone on other trees around town. Verbenone is a synthetic substance that gives the beetle a false signal that a tree is already infested.

Earlier this year, the town approved the use of the herbicide Milestone to control an outbreak of the weed absinth wormwood.

On a related note, trustees also plan to discuss the effectiveness of the town’s hand-weeding approach at the new Promenade Park next to the recreation center.

Also on the agenda will be a discussion of possible federal stimulus funding for several town projects; an update on town sales tax collections and budget implications; and discussion of a conceptual open space plan behind the new Third Street Center for nonprofits.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave.

jstroud@postindependent.com