What you can do about the emerald ash borer

They're the worst! Protect yourself! One in six trees in Denver is an ash tree.

KUSA - A strange pest has killed billions of dollars of trees in 30 states.

Since 2013 with its detection in Boulder, Colorado’s trees are now on the hit list. If you have ash trees, they are at risk from a small insect called the Emerald Ash Borer.

This pest brings another scenario like the pine beetle that came to the Colorado mountains and destroyed millions of pines several years ago. It’s a bug that’s hard to fight – and in this case, if you own ash trees, it’s not a matter of IF the bug arrives in your yard, but WHEN it shows up. Since ash trees are one of the most common trees in our state, we need to pay attention.

The Emerald Ash Borer hopped over several states from the Midwest to get to Colorado – probably hitching a ride in firewood. It was detected in Boulder in 2013 and found in Longmont last year – so it’s just a matter of time until it moves along the Front Range.

Are there treatments available?

Treatments are available – but before you sign up to have your tree receive them, know the commitment ahead of time – and decide what you want to do. Do you want to try to save your tree – or would you rather start over with something else? That’s a case-by-case decision.

To help you determine whether you have trees and if so how to recognize sings of the pest, take advantage of the NEW app you can download to your phone. It was announced this month by Colorado State Forest Service and Colorado Department of Agriculture. The app can help you determine if trees you have are ash trees and lead you through steps to evaluate your trees and decide what your plan of action will be. Click: http://bit.ly/EABapp17 for more information about EAB and the phone app.

Are ash trees still for sale in Colorado?

Reputable nurseries and garden centers are no longer selling ash trees. The lesson from this recent pest is that we often can’t anticipate when we dig a hole and plant a new tree whether it will be on the hit list for a new insect down the road. Best plan is to plant a variety of trees. If one is targeted by a future pest, you still have other nice trees growing in your yard.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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