While Enjoying Denver’s Fall Color, Take Time To Appreciate Our Ashes

While enjoying Denver’s fall color, take time to appreciate our ashes

  • October 6, 2017

DENVER — As a natural prairie, Denver wasn’t blessed with a host of native trees. That, in the humble estimation of Denver City Forester Rob Davis, is what makes ash trees worth savoring every fall.

“Colorado in general doesn’t have a lot of big shade trees that end up with a nice red or purple fall color,” Davis said. “So for me, fall is the time that I realize just how many ash trees we have in Denver.”

And that’s important for Davis, because he knows what’s coming: the emerald ash borer (EAB). The tiny green invader feasts on ash trees, and it’s now the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history, having caused billions of dollars in damage to ash tree populations in more than 25 states.

EAB was discovered in Boulder in 2013 and in Lafayette earlier this year, meaning it’s just a matter of time before it arrives in Denver and poses an immediate threat to the 1.45 million ash trees in Denver. That’s right, folks: 1 in 6 Denver trees is an ash. And the first step when it comes developing our EAB defense plan as a city is learning how to identify ash trees.

As far as fall color goes, green ashes turn a vibrant yellow. That’s great and all, however it somewhat pales in comparison to the white ash, which can change a whole host of colors from deep purple to a lighter red.

“It’s one of the few trees in Colorado that can accomplish that sort of full range of color,” Davis said. “And this is the one time of year you can use that as a characteristic to identify ash trees.”

If you’re unsure of whether you’re viewing an ash, some other telltale identifiers are as follows:

  • Compound leaves: A simple leaf is defined as a single leaf that has a bud at the base of the leaf stem. Conversely, a compound leaf (the sort you’re looking for) is defined as having more than one leaflet per leaf connecting to a stem that has a bud at its base. Ash tree leaves typically have 5-9 leaflets per leaf.
  • Opposite branching: By opposite branching, we mean the branches protruding from tree limbs have a mate protruding from the exact opposite side of the same limb. Only ash, maple, dogwood and horse chestnut trees have opposite branching.
  • Diamond-pattern bark: While this identification method may not be as helpful when it comes to young ash trees (they typically have smoother bark), the bark on more advanced ash trees tends to have distinct diamond patterns.

If you indeed have found an ash and it’s on public property, you can check on the city’s right-of-way treatment plan to see if it’s scheduled to be treated or replaced. If you’ve found an ash on your property, you have two options: treatment or replacement.

For many smaller ash trees, the best option tends to be replacement. If you have a large ash tree that holds a lot of value to you, there are several treatment options available. In fact, we wrote a whole blog post about those options. But always remember that the best option to consider is starting with a certified tree professional. We have a list of those here.

And if we’ve now gotten you on the hunt for ash trees to enjoy this fall, you can find three hotspots to see ash trees here.

Help Denver Fight EAB By Mapping Your Favorite Trees With Curio

Help Denver fight EAB by mapping your favorite trees with Curio

  • September 15, 2017

DENVER — Your friendly City Forester has mapped each and every one of the public ash trees in Denver as part of its effort to prepare for the inevitable arrival of emerald ash borer (EAB). As the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history, EAB has decimated ash tree populations and caused billions of dollars in damage in more than 25 states and parts of Canada.

But it’s not just ash trees. The city has actually mapped all of Denver’s public trees, giving you the chance to learn more about the trees around you and the benefits they provide. You can give them all a look using the interactive map on this very website.

But that may leave you with intense FOMOOMT — Fear Of Missing Out On Mapping Trees. Not to worry. You can now join the tree mapping party in Denver thanks to an app called Curio.

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Video: Planting Unique Trees May Protect Denver From EAB

Video: Planting unique trees may protect Denver from EAB

  • September 6, 2017

DENVER — Getting the word out about the emerald ash borer (EAB) and its potential impact on Denver’s 330,000 ash trees is a full-time job, and our friends at 9NEWS — more specifically, the producers of the show “Colorado & Company” — have been a big help.

Our very own friendly Denver City Forester Rob Davis appeared on the show recently, explaining whether EAB has been found in Denver, how many vulnerable ash trees we have in Denver and why they’re valuable, how you can identify an ash tree, the tell-tale signs of EAB, whether it makes sense to keep or replace your ash, your EAB treatment options, the city’s plan to treat Denver’s public ash trees and potential trees you can plant besides ash to help diversify and protect our urban tree canopy.

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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)

Tree Climbing Arborists Help Raise EAB Awareness

Tree climbing arborists help raise EAB awareness

  • July 24, 2017

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.

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Hey Denver, Wondering If You’ve Got An Ash Tree? We Can Help!

Hey Denver, wondering if you’ve got an ash tree? We can help!

  • June 21, 2017

DENVER — Did you know 1 in 6 Denver trees is an ash? And did you know that each and every one of those ash trees is vulnerable to a tiny pest called the emerald ash borer (EAB)?

It’s what makes EAB the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history, and it’s why the Denver City Foresters Office launched the Be A Smart Ash campaign. One big part of that program is educating Denver residents on how to identify ash trees.

First let us draw your attention to our interactive, MyTreeKeeper map. Using data, technology and thousands of man hours from our diligent City Forester employees, the Be A Smart Ash campaign successfully mapped each ash tree in Denver to make identification as easy as possible.

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Apply For A Free Right-of-way Tree, Denver! But First, What’s A Right-of-way?

Apply for a free right-of-way tree, Denver! But first, what’s a right-of-way?

  • May 25, 2017

DENVER — The Denver City Forester wants to give you a free tree to plant in the right-of-way adjacent to your property in an effort to bolster and diversify the tree canopy in the Mile High City.

But first, let’s define exactly what we mean when we say “right-of-way” – and how much space you need in the right-of-way adjacent to your property in order to apply for a free tree.

For starters, here’s the official definition of right-of-way:

“The right-of-way is the public land that includes the street, tree lawn and sidewalk – the width of which is established by the City of Denver. The right-of way also defines the boundary line along the street frontage of a property.”

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Denver Botanic Gardens, Flobots collaborate on EAB music video for Be A Smart Ash

  • March 8, 2017

DENVER — What happens when you give a bunch of tree nerds access to a camera, Denver’s beautiful Cheesman Park, a metallic emerald ash borer suit and a local hip hop legend? One Smart Ash music video, that’s what!

Be A Smart Ash is proud to present “EAB (Get Ready),” a music video produced by our amazing partners at the Denver Botanic Gardens in collaboration with Open Media FoundationJohnny 5 of the Flobots and a cast of well-trained volunteer actors from the Denver City Forester’s Office, a division of Denver Parks & Recreation.

The goal of this project is to raise awareness about emerald ash borer (EAB), which feasts on the common ash tree. Having desecrated forests in more than 25 states and parts of Canada, EAB is now the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history.

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‘Tis Once Again The Season For Free Trees In Denver

‘Tis once again the season for free trees in Denver

  • February 24, 2017

DENVER — If you didn’t end up with a free tree from the Denver Digs Trees program, which began accepting wait list applications earlier this month, there’s still good news: You can now apply for a free tree to be planted in your public right-of-way from Denver’s Office of the City Forester!

That’s right. If your property is adjacent to a public right-of-way that fits these parameters, you can apply to receive a tree at no cost to you.

Why are we so interested in giving away trees? Well, we love trees, for one, and we’re always looking for ways to bolster and diversify our urban canopy in Denver. The second big reason has to do with a tiny green pest.

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