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Q: Is there any benefit to cutting down trees affected by the bark beetle to prevent their spreading to surrounding healthy trees?

A: Yes, according to Bob Celaya, forest health specialist for the Arizona State Land Department, for several reasons.

“It is important,” Celaya said, “to remove and properly dispose of dead trees if they pose a hazard to people, structures and vehicles. It’s also a good idea to cover diseased wood with a big plastic tarp once it’s cut down so the bark beetles still inside die. These beetles have wing covers and they can fly. In fact, they can fly for miles, and that’s how they travel from one host to the next.”

Celaya also recommends proper thinning of additional pines in overcrowded stands, which reduces the likelihood of future bark beetle mortality while reducing the chance of forest fire.

But it’s not necessary to provide extra water for your pine trees this time of year. It’s a drain on our precious water supply. Late spring and early summer are the times pines can use some additional water, but unless the drought ends even that may not be a wise thing to do.

Q: Why did ADOT put in a “bus stop” portico, bench and litter barrel at the corner of Tyler Parkway and the Beeline? The barrel is full, but no one seems responsible for emptying it.

A: Without a bus system in the Rim country, it would be a bus stop to nowhere, according to ADOT Traffic Engineering Specialist David Gerlach.

“It’s not a bus stop,” he said. “It’s a shade structure.”

Whatever it is, it was built when the sidewalks were added at the request of former Town Manager Rich Underkofler.

“As soon as we built it, the town took over responsibility for the landscaping and the litter barrel,” Gerlach said.

LaRon Garrett, town public works engineer, says that after some initial confusion, the trash has been and will continue to be emptied. The flowers are a different story.

“It’s getting late in the fall so the flowers will die anyway,” Garrett said. “We’ll maintain the bushes, but we probably won’t replant the flowers. We just don’t have the manpower to take care of them.”

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup’s What’s Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we’ll try to find the answer.

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