Green Menace Has Spread to Erie

On July 8, the Town of Erie announced the first detection of emerald ash borer (EAB) within town limits. A resident found an adult EAB on private property within the Historic Old Town area of Erie.

A forester with the Town of Erie collected and provided the EAB specimen to entomologists with the Colorado State Forest Service and Colorado State University, who confirmed it as EAB.

This vial contains an adult emerald ash borer found on private property in Erie.

This vial contains an adult emerald ash borer found on private property in Erie. Photo courtesy of Amy Lentz, CSU Weld County Extension

It is unknown whether EAB arrived in Erie by natural spread or accidental human transport, such as in firewood or other raw ash material. Populations of the insect are capable of spreading a half-mile each year on their own, and Erie is adjacent to other municipalities with known EAB infestations.

Experts from the CSFS and CSU Extension visited the site where the specimen was found. They did not find EAB-infested trees but did find evidence of EAB activity in ash trees.

Experts who visited the EAB detection site noticed tufting, or the emergence of a group of smaller leaves at the end of small branches in the crown, in nearby ash trees. This is indicative of EAB in a tree.

Experts who visited the EAB detection site noticed tufting, or the emergence of a group of smaller leaves at the end of small branches in the crown, in nearby ash trees. This is indicative of EAB in a tree. Photo by Dana Coelho, CSFS

The experts also noticed feeding damage on the edges of ash leaves, which is another sign of an EAB infestation.

The experts also noticed feeding damage on the edges of ash leaves, which is another sign of an EAB infestation. Photo by Dana Coelho, CSFS

Ash trees provide shade, beauty and habitat throughout Erie, including along this street at Town Hall. Ash trees are estimated to comprise 15 percent or more of all urban trees in Colorado.

Ash trees provide shade, beauty and habitat throughout Erie, including along this street at Town Hall. Ash trees are estimated to comprise 15 percent or more of all urban trees in Colorado. Photo by Dana Coelho, CSFS

What You Can Do About EAB

EAB was first confirmed in Colorado in 2013 in the City of Boulder. Since then, this invasive, highly destructive tree pest has continued its spread to other cities and towns on the Front Range.

If you live on the Front Range, the first step is to determine if you have ash trees on your property. For information about ash tree identification, treatment options, tips on selecting a tree care company and more, please visit csfs.colostate.edu/eab.

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