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A Montana State University extension entomologist will discuss mountain pine beetle infestations in urban trees at a seminar Jan. 8.

The program will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Montana State University Billings’ Broadway 2 seminar room, 2804 Third Ave. N., across the street from the Alberta Bair Theater.

Kevin Wanner of Bozeman will discuss how to recognize beetle infestations, the biology of the bugs and how to treat trees, said Amy Grandpre, Yellowstone County Extension horticulture assistant.

Pine beetles have turned mountain slopes in Western Montana for several years.

Earlier this year, pine beetles began to appear in trees in Billings, particularly near the Rims, Grandpre said.

That indicates more trees will be infested this spring and for years to come.

The first sign of beetles are pitch tubes — sticky, popcornlike formations — on the trunk. If the material is white, the tree so far is fighting off the beetles. If orange, the beetles have penetrated farther into the tree. The next stage is a blue-stain fungus introduced by the beetles into the woody part of the tree.

When needles turn orange or red, the tree should be removed.

Trees most frequently attacked by the beetles are lodge pole, ponderosa, Scots and white bark pines.

For more information, go to www.beetles.mt.gov or call Grandpre at 256-2828.

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