We’re your friendly City Forester, an office within Denver Parks & Recreation, and we’ve been formulating our city’s defense against the emerald ash borer since 2013. The Be A Smart Ash campaign, launched in May 2016, aims to actively educate and enlist the help of City and County of Denver residents in the process of identifying, treating and replacing ash trees both now and over the course of the next 15 years.
This isn’t a low-stakes fight. Having devoured millions of ash trees in the Midwest, the EAB has now set its sights on an estimated 1.45 million ashes in the Denver metro area, including 330,000 in the City and County of Denver. In fact, 1 in 6 Denver trees are ash trees, and they can be found pretty much everywhere in the Mile High City — throughout residential properties, public rights-of-way, parks and green spaces. The city will take care of its own — namely ash trees located on city property, including parks. Residents will be expected to do the same, taking responsibility for any ash trees on their personal property and in adjacent public rights-of-way. It’s our goal to empower residents with as much information as possible.
These ash trees are prepared to put up a fight, often taking 2-4 years before showing signs of their EAB wounds. We’re prepared to fight just as hard for our urban canopy — one that keeps us cool, drowns out noisy neighbors and spruces up our air.