Colorado is preparing to battle a tiny insect that’s destined to change the way our urban forest looks. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is already in Boulder County, and it’s only a matter of time before this destructive pest is found in nearby counties.
Every single ash tree that lines the streets of our neighborhoods is at risk. The EAB loves these trees that make up about 15 percent or more of all city trees.
The newest weapon in the fight is a mobile app. Colorado State University Extension and the Colorado Forest Service joined together to create a free app to help with early detection of the EAB menace.
The app walks users step-by-step through tree identification to determine if the tree is an ash and susceptible to the EAB. If it’s an ash, there are more resources for EAB symptoms, management and links to much more information.
It’s important for tree owners to be aware that ash trees are already at risk so they can be prepared. It’s better to consider management and treatment options sooner rather than later.
The EAB/Ash Tree ID app is the latest tool in the Colorado campaign to raise awareness about the insect pest that has already killed tens of millions of ash trees across the states.
The Be a Smart Ash program, sponsored by the City of Denver, started its communications campaign last year. The Colorado Department of Agriculture is also actively involved in fighting the EAB.
Laura Pottorff with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, leads an excellent one-hour webinar called “EAB: Myth or Monster” for Colorado Master Gardeners. The webinar (taped in May) is available through the CMG online continuing education program and will give master gardeners the information they need to provide research-based information to their communities.
All these resources will help tree lovers start thinking about their options for managing the ash trees in their landscapes. Approaches include replacing ash trees now, planting new trees to take the place of an ash tree in the future, and researching the insecticides to treat trees when the time comes.
By Jodi Torpey
A Colorado Master Gardener