A focal point at the front of your home is a well-manicured ash tree sprouting out from the center of your lush, green lawn. You’ve watched it grow over the years and still appreciate its beauty as you pull down the block and into your driveway.
The problem is it’s an ash tree in Colorado, where EAB (emerald ash borer) was first discovered back in 2013 in the City of Boulder, and has since been detected in Longmont, Lafayette, Gunbarrel and Lyons.
For those still unfamiliar with this destructive pest, this non-native borer is responsible for killing millions of ash trees across 30 states, costing homeowners and municipalities billions of dollars in removal costs.
SavATree provides an effective treatment and management plan for EAB, and advises their customers to take heed, for an untreated tree will most certainly die when EAB arrives in your area.
While treating your ash tree against EAB is important and recommended (especially if it’s the focal point of the front of your home) there’s something else to consider. Homeowners and municipalities need to start planting a variety of other trees now in order to combat the decline of the ash tree population in Colorado, as new trees often take decades to reach maturity.
Keith Wood, urban and community forestry manager for the Colorado State Forest Service says, “Now is a great time to consider planting trees for any reason. One good reason is to ultimately replace ash trees that may later succumb to emerald ash borer.”
Wood goes on to say, “No one species should comprise more than 10 percent of the planted trees growing in any urban or community setting. We are setting ourselves up for potential problems with insects and diseases.”
So, what are some good ash tree replacements for the Colorado Front Range?
The Colorado Tree Coalition offers online descriptions of trees suitable to plant throughout Colorado, and also a list of recommended trees to plant along the Front Range. For more information, go to www.coloradotrees.org. As with all trees, be sure that an adequate watering and soil amendment plan is in place to make sure they survive the acclimation period.