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)