The spruce beetle has caused extensive tree damage to all species of spruce throughout the West.
2015 Aerial Survey
Spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreaks caused widespread tree mortality for the fourth consecutive year
- Spruce beetle populations have expanded, impacting higher-elevation stands of Engelmann spruce.
- In 2015, spruce beetle infestations were detected on 409,000 acres across the state, expanding onto 182,000 acres of previously unaffected forests.
- Since 1996, spruce beetle outbreaks have caused varying degrees of tree mortality on more than 1.5 million acres in Colorado.
- Blowdown events, combined with long-term drought stress, warmer temperatures and extensive amounts of older, dense spruce, have contributed to this ongoing epidemic.