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Forestry Journal

Helping to Manage and Protect Colorado’s Forests & Trees

Scientists Note Aspen Decline in the West

Reprinted from the E-Forester Society of American Foresters Additional interpretations by Phil Hoefer

ating as well as in the past. Aspen stands normally grow from root sprouts or suckers rather than by seed. Each stand of aspen is like a family or clone which can live for many generations. If there is a decline, some scientists believe it might be a natural reaction to forest disturbances from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s which al- lowed aspen stands to expand. With less forest activities, maybe some of these stands are changing as part of natural succession. Of course, aspen are particularly valuable in the fall when their “golden” colors attract thousands to the back roads of Colorado and other western states. Most people will not be seeing the decline on the macro scale. Maybe a few will no- tice on a mi- cro scale if their favorite viewing area doesn’t seem to be as healthy as 10 or 20 years ago. To read the complete article: < w w w. c h r o n . c o m / d i s p / story.mpl/ap/science/4111888.html> According to a recent Associ- ated Press article, “Something is killing the quaking aspen trees of the Rocky Mountain West.” Some scientists believe that a fungus is causing the tree deaths, while oth- ers suggest culprits including cater- pillars, drought, elk browsing, and al- tered fire regimes. According to the report, aspen stands have been hard hit in south- western Colorado and northern Ari- zona. It is estimated that 10 percent of the aspen in Colorado have died or are afflicted with something dur- ing the past 10 years. More worri- some than the aspen deaths is the appearance the trees aren’t regener- CFA Colorado Forestry Assn. PO Box 270132 Ft. Collins, CO 80527 coloradoforestry.org In This Issue: President’s Column ......................... Pg 2 CFA Website .................................... Pg 3 Outstanding Forest Steward ............ Pg 4 Houses Built to Burn ........................ Pg 5 Forestry Equipment Demo .............. Pg 6 Forests of Red and Gray .................. Pg 7 Pellet Market Heats Up .................... Pg 8 Governor Endorses Report ............... Pg 9 Inmate Crews .................................. Pg 10

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