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Tree climbing arborists help raise EAB awareness

DENVER — Arborists from across Colorado gathered in Denver’s Washington Park for the 2017 International Society of Arboriculture’s Rocky Mountain Chapter Tree Climbing Competition. Here, these talented professionals showed off the skills they utilize day-to-day caring for trees around the state.

From the speed climb competition to much more technical climbs, arborists put a mix of athletics, tree knowledge and math skills on display — and 9NEWS was there to capture it all.

Illustrating their true team spirit, this year’s participants all donned Be A Smart Ash competition shirts, helping raise awareness about an issue they combat every day in their field, the emerald ash borer (EAB). Now the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history, EAB has devoured ash trees in more than 25 states and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Though it hasn’t been found in Denver yet, the emerald ash borer has been discovered in Boulder and Longmont — and it’s just a matter of time before it arrives in the Mile High City, where 1 in 6 trees is an ash. The Be A Smart Ash campaign is aiming to help Denver residents identify whether they have an ash tree and then make an EAB plan before the pest arrives in the city.

And speaking of arborists, we can help you find one who is a Certified Smart Ash! Denver Parks and Recreation has developed a list of local tree professionals who are specifically certified to administer EAB treatments.