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Estes Park Tree Symposium Slated For May 6

The third annual Tree Symposium will be held at the Estes Park Conference Center in the Holiday Inn on May 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Forest entomologist Dave Leatherman and KUNC gardener Tom Throgmorton will be the featured speakers.

The Tree Symposium is organized by the Tree Board and sponsored by the Town of Estes Park to help area residents protect their trees from threats such as mountain pine beetles, mistletoe, and wildfires. All programs are offered without charge.

Speakers and panels will give presentations throughout the day. Leatherman will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a program entitled “Mountain Pine Beetles—Keystone Species or Darth Vader?” This update of his standing-room-only presentation at last year’s Symposium will cover the ecology of beetles, their history in the Estes Valley, the present situation, and prospects for the future. He will also discuss mistletoe and other threats to area forests.

Throgmorton will open the afternoon session at 1:30 p.m. with a program entitled “High Country Landscaping.” He will cover landscape design, xeriscape planting, plant selection, and plant care. He has a landscaping business in Ft. Collins and is featured every Saturday on public radio station KUNC.

Following Leatherman’s program in the morning, foresters and residents of the Granby area will give a program entitled “West Side Story—Lessons Learned” about the pine beetle epidemic in western Colorado and its effects. The program begins at 9:45 a.m.

“Wildfires and Beetles—Fire Management Update” follows at 11 a.m. Representatives of the Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service, and Rocky Mountain National Park will discuss their agencies’ policies for fighting fires and the effect of beetle-killed trees on wildfires.

A similar panel discussion in the afternoon will cover the policies of agencies in dealing with pine beetles in RMNP, Larimer County, the town of Estes Park, and on Forest Service land. Entitled “All Hands on Deck—Dealing with Beetles,” the program begins at 2:45 p.m.

The Symposium ends with a second presentation by Leatherman at 4 p.m. He will discuss “The Natural History of the Ponderosa Pine.” Through a discussion of the botany of ponderosas, as well as the birds, mammals, and other plants associated with them, he intends to expand area residents’ understanding and appreciation of the forest in which they live.

This year’s Symposium will feature more informational displays and the opportunity to meet with representatives of Beetle Busters, the local tree inspection program; Town employees in charge of code enforcement and the air-curtain burner; and local fire mitigation specialists.

Area businesses, including tree sprayers, tree services, nurseries, and other companies will have displays of their services and products. The Holiday Inn will offer lunch specials to those attending the Symposium. The Tree Symposium is still accepting vendors at this time – for more information, contact Barb Boyer Buck at 577-3581.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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