CPR: Denver Proactive In Battling Emerald Ash Borer

CPR: Denver proactive in battling emerald ash borer

  • August 25, 2017

DENVER — If Denver City Forester Rob Davis is looking to get under his family’s collective skin, all he has to do is start climbing an ash tree looking under the bark for signs of emerald ash borer (EAB).

“I drive them crazy, because I do it all the time,” Davis told Colorado Public Radio. “I’m always looking for (EAB). I’ve even climbed trees at a middle school, just thinking I’m going to find it. So sure.”

EAB is yet to be discovered in Denver, but consider its discovery in Boulder in 2013 and in Lafayette earlier this year, the Mile High City desperately wants to be prepared for what Davis called “single most destructive urban pest that Denver will ever have in its urban forest.”

From Denver’s interactive ash tree map to its efforts to guide residents about their treatment options to this very website and campaign, BeASmartAsh.org, Davis went on to explain to CPR in detail the $2.97 million, 10-year plan the city has implemented to try to cement Denver’s legacy as one of preparedness when it comes to EAB.

(Photo Credit: Colorado Public Radio)

Emerald Ash Borer Discovered In Lafayette, Colorado

Emerald ash borer discovered in Lafayette, Colorado

  • August 9, 2017

LAFAYETTE, Colo. — Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been discovered in Lafayette, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) confirmed on Wednesday. Lafayette is now the third city in Colorado facing an EAB infestation.

Not entirely unlike the mountain pine beetle, which decimated pine trees across hundreds of thousands of acres in Colorado’s high country beginning in 2008, EAB has decimated ash tree populations in more than 25 states and parts of Canada, causing billions of dollars in damage over the last 15 years.

CSFS community forestry program manager Keith Wood also confirmed Wednesday the newly found infestation in Lafayette remains within Colorado’s EAB quarantine zone. That zone includes Boulder, where EAB was discovered in 2013, and Longmont, where EAB was discovered in 2016. Lafayette is less than 13 miles from each city.

“Having a new detection in this area was not unexpected,” Wood said. “But it certainly highlights the need for Front Range communities to be planning now, before EAB arrives.”

EAB has not been discovered in Denver, but the Denver City Forester’s Office began formulating its plan to combat the pest in 2013, knowing that 1 in 6 Denver trees is an ash and that it’s just a matter of time before EAB is found in Colorado’s largest city.

In the spring of 2016, the Denver City Forester’s Office launched the Be A Smart Ash campaign, which aims to educate Denver residents about how to identify ash trees and to solicit the public’s help in combating EAB.

Speaking of which, are you a Denver resident who’s unsure of whether you have an ash tree on or around your property? Visit our Do I Have an Ash Tree? page or utilize our interactive map to find out. If you do have an ash tree, visit our What Can I Do? page or our Get a Tree Professional page to begin laying groundwork for your EAB defense plan with the help of a Smart Ash Certified tree care professional.

Curious about how you can protect your ash tree from infestation? We have broken down a list of your EAB treatment options. If you decide you want to remove your ash tree, we can connect you with teams who can help you turn it into a beautiful table, door or even a bicycle. You can also apply for a free tree to be planted in your public right-of-way to help diversify Denver’s tree canopy and prevent against future threats like EAB.

Whatever you decide, let’s be clear: If you don’t make a plan to treat or replace your ash tree in the very near future, chances are you will lose it to EAB. So Be A Smart Ash and act now, Denver!

(Photo Credit: Colorado State Forest Service)

Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Options For Your Denver Ash Tree

Emerald ash borer treatment options for your Denver ash tree

  • August 1, 2017

DENVER — The emerald ash borer (EAB), which feeds on ash trees and is now the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history, has arrived in Colorado, and it’s knocking on Denver’s door. That fact is overwhelming in its own right.

But you might find yourself even more overwhelmed by all the treatments options available to protect your ash tree from EAB. That’s where we come in!

For starters, there are four treatment options that have been examined at length as part of a multi-state insecticide study from Colorado State, Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue universities. Below is a breakdown of each option.

You might also be happy to know that your Friendly Denver City Forester has put together a list of Certified Smart Ash tree professionals, all of whom have the right mix of know-how and tools to safely and effectively protect your tree from EAB.

  1. Trunk injection
    • Who applies treatment: Licensed pesticide applicators
    • Treatment process: A licensed pesticide applicator will drill through the bark and into the outer sapwood of the ash tree, where they will inject the insecticide
    • Frequency: 1-3 years, depending on selected product
    • Effectiveness: When properly administered by a licensed professional, some trunk injections have shown to be 90 percent effective at controlling EAB, making this treatment the most effective method by far
    • Drawbacks: Cost and potential drilling wounds. While the most effective, trunk injections that last multiple years are typically more expensive than other EAB treatments.
  2. Soil drench
    • Who applies treatment: Licensed pesticide applicators, or property owners (if ash tree is under 15” diameter at 4.5’ off the ground)
    • Treatment process: Though soil drenches vary, they’re typically applied in the form of liquid or as granules that are then watered into the soil around the tree after the area beneath the tree has been cleared, thus allowing the soil drench to take hold in the roots of the tree
    • Frequency: The ideal frequency varies by product and the size of the ash tree being treated. But soil drench treatments should not be applied more than once a year.
    • Effectiveness: Inconsistent. In some trials, EAB control was excellent, while others yielded poor results. That said, soil drenches administered by tree professionals proved to be more effective.
    • Drawbacks: Effectiveness and environmental impact. While they proved to be better EAB control than no treatment, soil drenches are significantly more likely to fail than trunk injections. They’re also more likely to impact plants, insects or animals that may be near the tree.
  3. Bark spray
    • Who applies treatment: Licensed pesticide applicators
    • Treatment process: This formulated insecticide is sprayed on the bottom five to six feet of the ash tree using a common garden sprayer. That insecticide then penetrates the bark and is transported systemically throughout the tree.
    • Frequency: Once a year
    • Effectiveness: Inconsistent. The results of effectiveness testing on bark sprays have yielded similar results when compared to the testing on soil drenches.
    • Drawbacks: Effectiveness and environmental impact. Pesticide can blow onto adjacent plants, potentially impacting plants, insects or animals nearby.
  4. Tree removal and replacement
    • Who applies treatment: Professionals
    • Treatment process: While some property owners may be savvy enough to plant a tree on their own, removing a tree is a complicated process that requires a tree professional – often times for permitting reasons
    • Frequency: Just once
    • Effectiveness: 100 percent. While getting a new tree to take hold presents its own challenges, removing and properly disposing of an ash tree is 100 percent effective at controlling the spread of EAB.
    • Drawbacks: Losing a tree that may have intrinsic value to the property owner

So which EAB treatment method is the best for ash trees in Metro Denver, an area that includes 1.45 million ash trees? Unfortunately, there isn’t one right answer.

The best treatment for your Denver ash depends on a variety of factors, and it really comes down to property owner preference, according to Denver City Forester Rob Davis.

“Step one has to be educating yourself — gain an understanding of the options and then make a decision about what’s best for you,” Davis said. “In reality, the best place to start is with a good arborist.”

So what defines a good arborist? Start with one who has been licensed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to apply pesticides.

When you should be treating your ash tree? It’s true that EAB is yet to be discovered in Denver, but considering the pest has already been found in Boulder and Longmont, it’s just a matter of time before it arrives in Denver.