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What is Emerald Ash Borer?
Emerald ash borer is a non-native borer that attacks all North American species of ash to varying degrees. Accidentally introduced into southeastern Michigan, it was first detected in 2002 and since has killed millions of ash trees in forests and urban environments. This invasive pest was discovered in Boulder, Colorado, in September of 2013, with an estimated age of infestation of three to four years – making the spread of the pest to other metro areas and Colorado at large a worrisome possibility.
Tree services that tell you that EAB is in Denver already should be avoided, as this is completely unknown at present. Until the State Department of Agriculture makes a definitive statement of detection, an arborist should disclose that EAB is not yet confirmed in the metro area.
In Colorado we’ll need to approach emerald ash borer differently than many other states. That’s because ash/lilac borer – a similar pest of ash trees – is already boring holes in, and killing, many ash trees locally. While not as aggressive as EAB, it does reduce the effectiveness of treatments designed to prevent EAB. Therefore, if your tree is heavily infested with ash/lilac borer already, it may be best to remove and replace it. ArborScape has developed a free, easy-to-use tool to determine the cost of managing their ash trees into the future in light of this new threat.
It’s best practice to first treat the tree for ash/lilac borer, if present.
Within the city of Boulder, officials recommend an EAB preventive tree injection for ash trees in spring. Colorado Department of Agriculture is recommending treatment on high profile ash trees in Boulder.