As last year, pinyon trees in Las Vegas Ranch are under attack this spring (2016) by pinyon needle scale (PNS). As noted in these two articles , these sap-sucking insects kill the needles and can seriously weaken pinyon pines:
The good news is that at the current level of infestation, none of the above insects should kill pinyons. The insect we most need to watch for is the pine bark beetle, the villain responsible for most of the pine devastation to the north of us. While it occasionally shows up in this region, it does't appear to be establishing a foothold as of yet. However, we should be on alert. There are several mature pinyons near the south entrance to LV Ranch Estates that are dead or dying; I dob't believe we know what caused their demise.
For more information on the bark beetle, here's a link to a Bark Beetle F.A.Q. published by the University of Arizona.
For more information about the management of pinyon-juniper woodlands, click here for an excellent article from Colorado State Forest Service.
Bob Celaya of the Office of the State Forester has made a couple of site visits to evaluate the health of our pinyon trees and investigate the current infestation issues. Here is Bob's contact information:
Bob Celaya Forest Health Specialist Office of the State Forester 1110 West Washington, Suite 100 Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2935 602-771-1415 (office) 602-689-5657 (cell) 602-771-1421 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org