Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Superior, Colo.

Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Superior, Colo.

  • June 27, 2018

SUPERIOR, Colo. – State officials have confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive, highly destructive tree pest, in the Town of Superior in southeast 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 fifth 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. There are 1.45 million ash trees in Metro Denver, and in the City and County of Denver specifically, one in six trees trees is an ash.

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. Additionally, it may be years before an ash tree shows signs of infestation, and by then it may be too late to save. That’s why the Denver City Forester is recommending the preemptive treatment of ash trees in the metro area.

The pest was confirmed in Boulder this week, shortly after Boulder County foresters identified a dead adult EAB on a trap the county had set – along with a dozen others in targeted areas – to detect for early infestation of the pest. This particular trap was located on public property along the Mayhoffer Singletree Trail, near the intersection of West Thomas and Third Avenue in Superior.

Since then, EAB symptoms have been confirmed in multiple nearby ash trees on private property, as experts from the interagency Colorado EAB Response Team – a group working to manage the spread and impacts of the pest – helps to assess the observable extent of EAB in the area.

Many Front Range municipalities also have set traps to try and potentially detect EAB as soon as possible after its arrival, including the Denver City Forester. The traps are designed as detection tools that lure in EAB adults using attractant odors and color schemes, and are coated in a sticky substance to capture individuals that come into contact with them.

It is unknown whether EAB arrived in Superior by natural spread or via accidental human transport, such as in firewood or other raw ash material. Populations of the insect are capable of spreading a half-mile each year on their own, and Superior is not far from other EAB detections in Lafayette and Boulder.

Many Front Range communities are managing for EAB before its arrival, including the Town and Superior and the City and County of Denver. Spurred by a complete tree inventory finalized in 2016, the Denver City Forester has planted 4,500 free trees on private property in preparation for the pest as part of the Be A Smart Ash program.

The Denver City Forester also plans to replace all small ash trees on city-maintained land, and has instituted a rigorous treatment schedule for some of the historic ash trees on city property. But perhaps most importantly, the tree census enables residents to use an interactive map to identify trees on their property to determine the presence of ash trees. Residents can also find information about EAB treatment options and request a free replacement tree to be planted in the right-of-way on their property.

EAB was first confirmed in Colorado in September 2013, in the City of Boulder. Since then, the pest has been confirmed in Gunbarrel, Longmont, Lafayette and Lyons – all within Boulder County and an established EAB Quarantine area. At this time, EAB has not been detected in Denver, nor anywhere in Colorado outside the county or quarantine. However, the pest is extremely difficult to detect when its numbers are low in an area.

All Eyes On Me: Emerald Ash Borer Emergence

All Eyes On Me: Emerald Ash Borer Emergence

  • June 1, 2018

DENVER — It is already June, which means we are at the start of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) emergence season! Although EAB has not yet been found in the City and County of Denver, we know it is only a matter of time before its discovery.

EAB emergence season means it is time to start looking for the adult borers who leave “D”-shaped holes in the bark of the ash tree, roughly 1/8 inch in diameter. There are also several other telltale signs of EAB infestation like S-shaped tunnels that can be seen on the trunk and tree thinning and bark shedding. Dying ash trees also attract Northern Flickers, a type of large, brown woodpecker. It can take 2-4 years for trees to show signs of infestation.

EAB chews through the tree’s water and nutrient-conducting tissues, strangling the tree. If there is a high population of EAB in the tree, one-third to a half of the branches may die in one year. Most of the canopy will be dead within 2 years of when symptoms are first seen.

Recent research shows that EAB can have a one- or two-year life cycle. Adults begin emerging in mid to late May with peak emergence in late June. Females usually begin laying eggs about 2 weeks after emergence. Eggs hatch in 1-2 weeks, and the tiny larvae bore through the bark and into the cambium – the area between the bark and wood where nutrient levels are high. The larvae feed under the bark for several weeks, usually from late July or early August through October. The larvae typically pass through four stages, eventually reaching a size of roughly 1 to 1.25 inches long. Most EAB larvae live through the winter in a small chamber in the outer bark or in the outer inch of wood. Then in May or early June new adult borers emerge to begin the cycle again.

Want to learn more about what EAB looks like? As you can see in various images, the EAB is an attractive insect with a dark, metallic-green body and a coppery-red or purple abdomen under its wings. To give you some perspective, at approximately ½-inch long, the EAB can fit comfortably on a penny.

If you have an ash tree that might be showing signs or symptoms of EAB infestation, contact the Office of the City Forester at forestry@denvergov.org or (720) 913-0651.

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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