Trestle Recreation Area will be closed due to mistletoe infestation

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CLOUDCROFT – Trestle Recreation Area, also known as The Depot, has a dwarf mistletoe infestation that Lincoln National Forest is working to remedy.

Dwarf mistletoe is “a well-known tree-killing parasite” that is “common in southwestern forests,” said a press release from the Lincoln National Forest.

Lincoln National Forest will begin removing trees affected by dwarf mistletoe in the Sacramento Ranger District the week of November 15.

A replica of the old Cloudcroft depot in the Trestle recreation area near Cloudcroft.

The affected trees are in an 11-acre area around Trestle Recreation Area which will be closed this winter while infected trees are removed. The trail network near the Depot will remain open, the news release says.

“Once a tree becomes infected with mistletoe, the health of the tree declines,” said Forest Service Timber staff member Jessie Willett. “Small trees decline and die faster than large ones. Tree mortality in heavily infected areas is often three to four times higher than in uninfected areas.

Dwarf mistletoe infestation is affecting ponderosa pines near the Depot.

“Dwarf mistletoe is a gold-colored parasitic plant that attacks conifers and steals essential nutrients and water from host trees,” the press release reads. “Without intervention, it is likely that all of the ponderosa pines in the recreation area would be dead within 10 years.”

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This means that affected trees could weaken and fall before their time.

Hikers and other visitors to Lincoln National Forest can expect to see heavy equipment in the area near Trestle Recreation Area throughout the fall and winter.

Beginning the week of November 15, 2021, the Sacramento Ranger District will initiate a project to remove dwarf mistletoe infected trees on 11 acres in and around the Trestle Recreation Area.  Trestle Recreation Area, also known as The Depot, will be closed this winter while crews work to remove infected trees and stop the spread.  The nearby trail network will remain open.

“The Forest Service worked with the NM Forestry Division and the South Central Mountain Resource Development and Conversation Council, who graciously loaned the Forest Service a unique piece of equipment called an air curtain incinerator for the project. “, reads the press release.

“An air curtain incinerator is a mobile trailer designed for the high temperature burning of forest residues. It replaces the need for prescribed burning or chipping and is ideal for small projects or projects near developed areas where the prescribed burning is not possible.”

Replanting of felled trees will take place in the summer of 2022, the press release said.

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“The hope is that we can stop the spread of mistletoe in this area,” Willett said.

“There is no doubt that the Depot will look different after the project, but we want to ensure that the area remains safe for visitors and that the remaining ponderosa pines surround future generations. Now is the time to act. »

Nicole Maxwell can be reached by email at [email protected], by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.

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