Boulder County Emerald Ash Borer: An overview of what it is, where it came from, why it’s such a threat and what you can do to help.
What is this Emerald Ash Borer that has been found in Boulder County?
It’s a federally regulated pest, native to Asia. It was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 but since then has spread to another 21 states. Colorado being the 22nd state to identify and confirm its presence. These bugs are bright emerald green and about a half inch in length. When the wings unfold, the insect can be seen as having a dark purple body. They eat the wood from the ash tree and the tunnels they create cut off the flow of water and nutrients the tree needs to survive. Death of the tree usually occurs within 3-4 years. 🙁
Who is at risk of Boulder County Emerald Ash Borer?
All Ash trees (white, purple, green and their cultivars), whether they be saplings or aging gracefully are equally at risk. Once infested, there is little hope for the tree. Treatment may prolong it’s life, but there is no way to repair the damage and get rid of the Emerald Ash Borer. In the last 11 years, 50 million ash trees have been killed by the emerald ash borer.
Note: Mountain ash is not in danger…. since it’s not really an ash.
How is Boulder County Emerald Ash Borer spread?
The adult insects fly from March through September and lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. While larvae hatch and burrow into the tree. Boulder County Emerald Ash Borer was positively identified on September 23rd, 2013 by the US Dept of Agriculture. The infested tree was located near 30th and Iris. Until the delimited survey is complete, we don’t know the true extent of the infestation in Boulder County. The area surrounding the infested trees is divided into a grid and trees searched within each square.
What can you do to limit the spread of Boulder County Emerald Ash Borer?
When the delimited study is complete, you will know if you are within 5 miles of an infestation and can make plans to try and save your ash tree or to let it go. Keep an eye on your ash trees. Symptoms include a general decline in the appearance of the ash tree. The thinning of the upper branches, loss of leaves and increased wood pecker activity.
Respect the quarantine boundaries that have been set up to stop the spread of the Boulder County Emerald Ash Borer around Colorado. Do not transport ash logs, green lumber, nursery stock, wood chips, mulch, stumps, roots, branches and firewood. (You may transport seeds, leaves, kiln-dried, processed firewood, and finished wood products without bark, according to the state’s order.)
You may move ash within the boundaries of the quarantine area, but getting caught violating the boundaries will result in a $1000 fine – you have been warned.
What are the boundaries of the Emerald Ash Borer quarantine area?
For more information about the Emerald Ash Borer in Boulder County…
Click here to open a government media release page and links to further (and continually updated) info.
Real Estate Impacts
Boulder County sellers, when you fill out the (not mandatory, but expected) Sellers Property Disclosure, there is a section asking if you have dead or diseased trees. You can’t leave it blank and you are held legally accountable for filling it out truthfully. If you suspect you have Emerald Ash Borer before putting your property for sale, you may want to consider getting it confirmed either way. Being able to say you either had the tree removed due to the pest or that you had it confirmed NOT present are both better alternatives than answering “Don’t Know”. Answering “Don’t Know” is always acceptable if it’s the truth though.
Buyers, part of your due diligence is Inspection of the property and this can include bringing in a tree care specialist. Better to get yourself a quick consultation and work with the seller if an issue is found, than discover your beautiful back yard ash is terminal. Two years from now your very own Boulder County Emerald Ash Borer could be costing you $600 or more in tree removal… not to mention the price of replacing it with something else.
Final word to Sellers… If the buyer tells you they had Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in your tree and the deal terminates because you won’t work with them on this issue, you will need to change that Sellers Property Disclosure to include this discovery. You will face this issue again with the next buyer. There is always a way to make a deal Win-Win and in my experience, keeping the negotiation going in a friendly manner will get you both where you want to be, eventually.