CHEYENNE – The city’s Urban Forestry division is warning residents that a new pest has set up shop in Cheyenne, and could be threatening area spruce trees for the next several years.

The ips beetle has been showing up recently in some local Colorado blue spruce trees, encouraged in part by recent weather including a 2014 drought, some damaging hailstorms and a drier-than-average 2016 that has weakened the health of some local trees.

Though they are not as devastating to tree populations as the more aggressive mountain pine beetle, ips beetles are opportunistic and do take advantage of trees that have been stressed in recent years. They work slow, taking two to three years to completely kill a tree, with earliest symptoms being the death of the upper limbs of an affected tree.

Urban Forestry suggests the ips beetle could be around for a while, and though most trees in Cheyenne should be safe, residents and city staff alike should pay close attention to older spruce trees.

Read more about the ips beetle and what it means for Cheyenne in Friday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle or online at WyomingNews.com.

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