Emerald ash borer is still a threat in Colorado

Emerald ash borer is still a threat in Colorado

Emerald ash borer (or more commonly known as EAB) was first confirmed in Colorado in September of 2013, in the City of Boulder.

For several years after, the beetle was a common news headline as cities across the state scurried to find solutions in an effort to protect their community ash trees from destruction.

Approximately 15% of all trees comprising Colorado’s urban forest are ash trees. In the Denver Metro area that translates to 1.45 million ash trees – 98,000 in the City of Boulder alone.

As this destructive beetle is responsible for killing millions of ash trees from coast to coast in 35 states, the severity of the problem is definitely acute.

Fast-forward six years and it’s no longer a common news headline, which leads everyone to assume that EAB has stopped its assault on the State of Colorado. Think again.

Where is Emerald Ash Borer?

To date, EAB has been confirmed in Gunbarrel, Longmont, Lafayette, Lyons and in June of 2018 was discovered in a trap in the Town of Superior. The move may be slow, but it’s still on the move.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic beetle first discovered in Detroit, Michigan in the summer of 2002. Many believe it’s the adult beetles which are the most destructive, but all they really do is nibble on the foliage and cause little damage.

It’s the EAB larvae that feed on the inner bark of an ash tree, cutting off cell activity carrying vital water and nutrients throughout the tree. This activity will often cause the canopy of the tree to die off first as points farthest away from the base can no longer draw on that vast network of cells for support.

How to treat EAB

The question many homeowners often ask about EAB is how to know when to treat?

The answer is simple – if an ash tree is left untreated and EAB does make its way to your community, the chance of survival is minimal at best as the damage is often done well before it’s visibly noticed.

If you consider your ash tree to be a signature tree (prominently featured on your front lawn; shading a patio area in the backyard; over 20 feet in height) then treatment is recommended to protect the tree from any invasions.

Remember, it takes almost 20 years for a tree to grow 20-25 feet tall, so it’s in your best interest to protect the signature trees that you have on your property.

Treatment should be done by a licensed company who understands and abides by the restrictions set out by the State of Colorado for not only how to treat an ash tree, but how to properly and safely discard of any wood that might be pruned. Mankind is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to the spread of EAB (infected firewood, improperly disposed tree trimmings, etc.).

SavATree is here to answer all your EAB questions and provide your property with a free ash tree evaluation. Invite us to your home today and we’ll help you come up with a treatment plan that makes sense for you, your property and your ash trees.