The Smart Ash Explains EAB Treatment Options

The Smart Ash Explains EAB Treatment Options

  • May 24, 2018

Be A Smart Ash has been turning Denver residents into smarter tree owners since 2016. And while emerald ash borer (EAB) hasn’t yet been found in Denver, we know it’s just a matter of time. But even if Denverites know if they have an ash tree in their yard, they still may need more details about treatment options.

While ash tree treatment seems like a straightforward topic, it can be surprisingly complex. In fact, it combines a good bit of chemistry, can depend on how you feel about your tree, involves some budgeting, and the options can be difficult to demonstrate. In short – ash tree treatment is anything but straightforward.

Enter The Smart Ash. Voiced by our very own Denver City Forester Rob Davis, and inspired by the popular PBS Kids show Wild Kratts, The Smart Ash is a character on a quest to defeat EAB and defend the ash trees that make up Denver’s invaluable urban forest. The campaign is designed to be entertaining but informative – especially when it comes to emphasizing safety and the value of working with a tree care professional to treat or remove trees.

So, join The Smart Ash as he breaks down the various ash tree treatment options into a handful of short videos. Whether you’re searching for a specific treatment option or want to peruse the variety that are available, The Smart Ash has you covered.

Be A Smart Ash EAB Awareness Campaign Winning Hearts In Denver

Be A Smart Ash EAB awareness campaign winning hearts in Denver

  • March 24, 2018

Below is an excerpt from a larger feature story that appeared in “Parks & Rec Business” in February 2018. It was penned by Sara Davis, the Urban Forestry Program Manager with the Office of the City Forester, a division of Denver Parks & Recreation. She is also one of the creators of the Be A Smart Ash campaign.

DENVER, Colo. — In the city and county of Denver, Colo., one in six trees is an ash, making it vital that residents understand how they can save the ash trees and protect the city’s urban forest. The Be A Smart Ash movement, an unexpectedly irreverent, city-driven, five-year campaign launched in 2016, has rallied citizens to protect the ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The campaign’s goal is to encourage residents to take action, identify ash trees, and (when necessary) treat or replace them.

One year later, citizens, community leaders, and tourists are falling in love with the campaign, which includes:

  • An original song and outrageous music video sponsored by Be A Smart Ash and produced by Denver Botanic Gardens and Jonny 5 of The Flobots
  • An interactive map, using tree inventory data that allow citizens to quickly assess whether there is an ash tree on their property
  • Bus tails: “Big Ash, Small Ash: No matter the size, it’s time to get your ash in gear”
  • Tree tags: “This Ash is Covered,” following treatment by the city
  • Tree wraps that are winning hearts
  • A playful but informative Twitter handle, @BeASmartAsh.
Emerald Ash Borer Discovered In Lyons, Colorado

Emerald Ash borer discovered in Lyons, Colorado

  • March 22, 2018

LYONS, Colo. — State officials have confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) – an invasive, highly destructive tree pest – in the Town of Lyons in northern Boulder County. This new detection is still just within a quarantine area established to try and prevent the human-assisted spread of EAB. However, it represents the fourth community with confirmation of EAB in Colorado outside the City of Boulder, where the pest was first detected in 2013.

An estimated 15 percent or more of all urban and community trees in Colorado are ash species susceptible to being killed by EAB – and a majority of these trees are on private land. EAB attacks and kills both stressed and healthy ash trees and is so aggressive that trees typically die within two to four years after becoming infested.

An arborist recently identified an ash tree on private land in the vicinity of 4th Avenue and Broadway Street in Lyons as potentially infested with EAB. The property manager notified members of the interagency Colorado EAB Response Team, which is working to manage the spread and impacts of the pest in Colorado. An adult beetle specimen found in the tree was provided to the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and then confirmed by Colorado State University experts as being EAB. The infested tree and surrounding trees also are being examined by experts from the CDA and Colorado State University Extension.

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Don’t Judge A Tree By Its Cover: Winter Tree & EAB Treatment Guide

Don’t judge a tree by its cover: Winter tree & EAB treatment guide

  • February 6, 2018

DENVER — Although winter is the time when trees go dormant, it is a good time to start planning for tree care. It might be hard to tell in the winter, but not all ash trees are healthy and thriving. They may look okay on the outside, but the inside might be another story, and no matter the time of year a tree professional can help assess your tree.

For example, a large ash tree in Louisville was recently removed causing a bit of stir in the neighborhood. The tree provided valuable shade to neighboring houses close to the downtown area. But, despite the healthy exterior, what couldn’t be seen on the outside was that the center of the tree was hollow. A hollow tree can be a major safety issue.

“A cavity in a living tree can contribute to a tree being unsafe,” said Sara Davis, Urban Forestry Manager, Office of the City Forester, City and County of Denver. “When a tree develops problems, it is frequently difficult to decide when to replace or remove it. The one option you shouldn’t consider, however, is treating or replacing your ash tree yourself if you’re not a licensed tree professional.”

Davis did share a few tips for how residents can protect their ash trees and help trees survive the winter season.

  • Mulch – Add a thin layer (no more than 2 inches) of mulch around the base of the tree
  • Water – Keep trees, especially smaller or newly planted trees, well watered until the ground freezes
  • Prune – Pruning trees during dormancy can help prevent the spread of disease. You can also easily see the tree’s structure and identify problem branches.
  • Treat – Residents who want to keep their ash trees should work with a licensed and insured arborist or tree service company on an Emerald Ash Borer treatment plan. Treatment, which is 90 percent effective, must be repeated every 2-3 years. Choose from this list of approved tree services and get information about state licensing.
1st Grade Ashvocates Help Spread EAB Awareness In Denver

1st Grade Ashvocates Help Spread EAB Awareness in Denver

  • November 30, 2017

DENVER — Ashvocates at Denver Public Schools’ Downtown Denver Expeditionary School (DDES) hit the city streets to learn more about ash trees, Emerald Ash Borer  (EAB) and ways to combat the borer. These students know that the impending arrival of the EAB is nothing to kid about.

“We should protect ash trees,” a DDES first grader said. “Ash trees make oxygen and shade. And without ash trees, we’d be so hot! Please help save the ash trees!”

The Expeditionary Learning approach to teaching and learning makes subjects come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs. By utilizing Downtown Denver as a campus, DDES students were able to identify, touch and feel many of the ash trees lining the public streets. When asked how to treat trees for EAB, one student said, “You can put special medicine in the trees.”

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Emerald Ash Borer Drone Research Ongoing In Colorado

Emerald ash borer drone research ongoing in Colorado

  • October 27, 2017

BOULDER, Colo. — An aerial assault has been launched on emerald ash borer (EAB), beginning where the invasive pest was first found in Colorado.

Arbor Drone, Spectrabotics, and researchers from Colorado College began collecting data this summer using drone flights over southwest Boulder to study trees affected by EAB. Arbor Drone’s Dan Staley told The Denver Channel that the main purpose of the Boulder drone flights was to use a multispectral sensor to study the light reflectance of ash trees attacked by EAB.

The City and County of Denver funded this early drone study to better manage EAB when it arrives in the Mile High City, as part of its Be A Smart Ash campaign.

Emerald Ash Borer To Offer Scares At Denver Halloween Parade

Emerald Ash Borer to offer scares at Denver Halloween Parade

  • October 20, 2017

DENVER — The emerald ash borer will be on hand in all its horror at the inaugural Broadway Halloween Parade on Oct. 21, offering a taste of the scary reality the invasive forest pest presents Denver’s ash tree population.

Hosted by the Broadway Merchants Association and City Council Lucky District 7, the community-friendly Broadway Halloween Parade will begin at 6 p.m. in the eclectic and funky Heart of Broadway. Specifically, the parade route will stretch from West 3rd Ave. to West Alameda Ave. along South Broadway.

The parade is set to feature various spooky floats, bands and marchers, and all attendees are encouraged to join in the fun by wearing a Halloween costume. And yes, not only will there be an emerald ash borer (EAB) in attendance, the Be A Smart Ash campaign will be passing out a pair of fun trick-or-treat bags for all kids — and maybe even a few adults — in attendance.

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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.

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Colorado Tree Climbing Company Raises EAB Awareness

Colorado tree climbing company raises EAB awareness

  • September 22, 2017

DENVER — Enjoying trees from the ground is great in its own right. But for Harv Teitelbaum, he gains a whole new appreciation for trees once he’s up in the midst of one.

That’s why Teitelbaum started Tree Climbing Colorado alongside his partner Griëtte van der Heide 15 years ago: to help people — especially kids — begin to see and appreciate trees in a whole new light. The two spoke with the Columbine Courier about their efforts to raise a greater level of appreciation for trees, including their recent endeavor to help the City of Denver raise emerald ash borer awareness at the International Society of Arboriculture’s annual tree climbing competition in Washington Park this summer.

“You can’t believe how a tree looks different from up there,” van der Heide told the Courier. “It changes everything.”

(Photo Credit: Chancey Bush, Evergreen Newspapers)

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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