City News

Posted on: August 9, 2017

Emerald ash borer detected in Lafayette

This week, the Colorado State Forest Service confirmed evidence of the invasive tree pest emerald ash borer (EAB) within Lafayette city limits. This detection is located in an existing Boulder County quarantine area established by the Colorado Department of Agriculture in November 2013 to try and prevent the human-assisted spread of EAB.  EAB has also been confirmed in Boulder, Gunbarrel, and Longmont.  “Having a new detection in this area was not unexpected, but certainly highlights the need for Front Range communities to be planning now,” said Keith Wood, CSFS community forestry program manager.

In response to the 2013 identification of EAB in Boulder County, the Lafayette Parks Department created an Emerald Ash Borer Response Plan and began an inventory and assessment of all ash trees on City-owned land including parks, streetscapes, cemeteries, city facilities, and the golf course.  Unhealthy trees graded at the lowest assessment level are in the process of being removed and replaced with new species.

Lafayette is estimated to have approximately 22,000 total ash trees, with only about 3 percent of the overall ash population located on City-owned property.  With 97 percent of the ash tree population residing on private property, Lafayette residents are strongly encouraged to assess their trees, be educated on the available options, and make a plan.

Questions about EAB can be answered by the Colorado State University Extension in Longmont by calling 303-678-6238, emailing EAB@bouldercounty.org or referring to www.BoulderCountyEAB.org.

Tips from the Colorado State Forest Service:

  • Determine now if you have any ash trees. Identifying features of ash trees include compound leaves with 5 to 9 leaflets; leaflets, buds and branches growing directly opposite from one another; and diamond-shaped bark ridges on mature trees. More information about a related app for mobile devices is available at www.csfs.colostate.edu/emerald-ash-borer .
  • If you have an ash tree, start planning. Decide if the overall health of the tree merits treatment or if it would be best to remove and replace it with a different species. If you aren’t sure, contact a certified arborist. If pesticide treatment is the preferred option, the applicator must be licensed by the CDA as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator.  
  • Recognize signs of EAB infestation. Property owners with ash trees should be on the lookout for thinning of leaves in the upper tree canopy, 1/8-inch D-shaped holes on the bark and vertical bark splitting with winding S-shaped tunnels underneath. Report suspect trees by calling the Colorado Department of Agriculture at 1-888-248-5535 or filling out their EAB Report Form at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agplants/eab-identification-and-reporting.
  • Be aware of EAB imposters.  Other insects like lilac/ash borer, ash bark beetle and flat-headed apple tree borer may look like EAB or cause similar tree symptoms. For more information, visit https://www.colorado.gov/agplants/emerald-ash-borer.
  • Help prevent further spread of EAB. Do not transport ash or any hardwood firewood, or any other untreated ash wood products, to other locations. Boulder County and some surrounding areas are under a federal EAB quarantine, allowing for significant fines for those who move untreated wood from the area.


Additional resources:


Questions about EAB can be answered by the Colorado State University Extension in Longmont by calling 303-678-6238, emailing EAB@bouldercounty.org or referring to www.BoulderCountyEAB.org.


Download a press release from the Colorado State Forest Service 

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