17,000 Front Range trees already prepped for Emerald Ash Borer Email
Colorado Green NOW
Written by Colorado EAB Response Team   
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 01:00 AM

ash tree leavesA score of cities and towns along the Front Range have already treated or removed more than 17,000 public trees in preparation for – or response to – the arrival of emerald ash borer (EAB), a highly destructive tree pest. These same municipalities also have already planted more than 17,000 ash replacement trees as part of their EAB management plans, and along with Boulder County have collectively spent more than $9 million on the management of a tree pest that in Colorado has thus far only been detected within Boulder County.

These figures, which provide only a conservative estimate of what Colorado’s cities and towns are doing as they ramp up community forest management efforts related to EAB, do not include any expenses or current actions HOAs or homeowners are similarly taking.

“The fact that our communities are spending so much already to prepare for EAB is telling,” said Keith Wood, urban and community forestry manager for the Colorado State Forest Service. “It’s a good indicator that we all recognize the potential environmental and economic impacts of losing a significant portion of our urban tree canopy in the years to come.”

He says that with this week being National EAB Awareness Week, the interagency Colorado EAB Response Team wants to highlight the actions communities are taking in the state, and prompt homeowners, HOAs and other property owners – particularly along the Front Range and in northeast Colorado – to determine now if they have ash trees, watch them for symptoms and consider early management options for EAB. These may include removing unhealthy trees before they die and planting new trees near ash that could ultimately replace trees lost to the pest.

Along with Boulder County, municipalities currently taking significant actions to manage or prepare for EAB include Arvada, Aurora, Berthoud, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Erie, Fort Collins, Golden, Lafayette, Lakewood, Longmont and Loveland. In addition to its urban tree management efforts, the City of Denver also is running a broad EAB awareness campaign under the tagline “Be a Smart Ash.”

EAB, a non-native pest responsible for the death of millions of ash trees in more than 30 states, was confirmed in the City of Boulder in 2013 and has since been detected throughout Boulder County. The exotic insect has become a concern for communities all over Colorado because an estimated 15 percent or more of all urban and community trees in the state are ash, and each year EAB can fly up to a half-mile to infest new trees. There also is the ever-present risk of the pest spreading much faster through human transport of firewood and other raw ash wood.

“As we head into summer and camping season, one of the best steps all of us can take is to not move firewood,” Wood said. “This all-too-common practice is one of the primary ways destructive tree pests like EAB are spread.”

For more information about ash tree identification and the symptoms of EAB, go to csfs.colostate.edu/emerald-ash-borer. For EAB quarantine, reporting and chemical treatment information, go to eabcolorado.com.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
811 bill passed by Colorado legislature
Could landscape design block the stars?

Best Yard gives Parker landscape companies a home

Getting ahead of water restrictions

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