Ask anyone from Alabama, Illinois, Ohio or 27 other states and two Canadian provinces what EAB is and they’ll probably give you an earful. Rightfully so given the fact that emerald ash borer is responsible for the death of millions and millions of ash trees.
While Colorado joins the list of states and provinces affected by this invasive, wood-boring beetle, many residents still have no idea that their ash tree may soon be under siege.
Kate Zabriskie, known for building customer service strategies for large organizations, says that, “The customer’s perception is your reality.” And right now, Colorado residents do not perceive emerald ash borer to be a serious threat to their landscape.
Emerald ash borer was confirmed in the City of Boulder in September 2013. As of April 2018, all of Boulder County is presumed to be infested, as are surrounding communities (Longmont, Lafayette, Gunbarrel, Lyons). It has not been confirmed outside of Boulder County.
15% or more of all urban and community trees in the state of Colorado are ash trees – that translates to an estimated 1.45 million ash trees.
Because ash trees were so widely planted for decades, due to their fast-growing nature and pleasing shape, as much as 30% of tree canopy coverage and shade are due to mature ash trees.
Know the signs of an EAB infestation:
Thinning of leaves and upper branches
Evidence of tunnels produced by larvae under the bark
D-shaped exit holes
New sprouts at the base of the trunk
An increase in woodpecker activity
Chemically treating an ash tree is a personal choice. However, the closer to a known infestation, the likelihood that your tree will become infested. Both trunk and soil injections exist with proven, successful results.
Never transport any ash branches or fire wood, as this is most likely how the insect spread.
No one expects Colorado residents to have all the answers when it comes to emerald ash borer. But doing your homework and educating yourself will help save your ash tree and help contain the spread going forward.