Healthy Forests

Tree Management

The Cordillera Tree Management Program is implemented with property owner safety and forest health being paramount. The forest’s health is important to keeping infestations and disease to a minimum, which also minimizes wildfires.

Any trees along CMD roadways and easements that pose safety concerns or property damage are investigated and appropriate steps taken to ensure a safe environment within the community boundaries.

This program also includes new plantings of trees throughout the community.

Bark Beetles

Bark beetles tend to be specific to certain types of trees; the pine beetle is specific to lodgepole pine and ponderosa pine trees. Other bark beetles active in Cordillera include the spruce beetle and the fir beetle. Beetle activity tends to move in cycles where the populations grow and shrink. Even at non-epidemic levels, beetles inhabit and kill trees within Cordillera.

Cordillera Public Safety works with the Colorado State Forest Service to inspect the community and collected data when signs of a bark beetle appear and then develop an action plan to mitigate beetle impacts.

Aspen Die-off

Aspen is another common species of tree in Cordillera. Aspen are interesting as they grow from roots that spread from other aspen trees and new trees are considered clones. In the fall you may notice that large groups of aspen turn gold at the same time, while others are still green. This is because the leaves of all of the trees in a clone turn at one time.

Aspen trees in Colorado are also experiencing a high level of mortality. There is not one definitive cause for this decline. Experts cite several contributing factors, including several summers of draught, rising temperatures, old age and disease. This has been labeled Sudden Aspen Decline, or SAD. When a stand of aspen begins to experience health issues, the entire stand may become affected. What is alarming about SAD is that some aspen stands that are dying show no signs of regeneration or new growth. There is no treatment for SAD.

Cordillera Open Space Mitigation

The CPOA and the CMD address beetle issues in community open space. Special attention is paid to areas adjacent to private property where Cordillera treats healthy trees and removes infested trees.

Cordillera supports property owner mitigation efforts for wildfire and insect infestation. Property owners are encouraged to contact John Gulick, healthy forest project coordinator, to report their efforts. Removal of tree and vegetation that is not related to wildfire or forest health must be approved by the Design Review Board.

  1. John Gulick

    Healthy Forest Coordinator
    Phone: 970-376-3737