Emerald Ash Borer found in Colorado; UW recommends diversity of tree planting to combat the insect

(Laramie, Wyo.) – Diversifying tree planting choices is being recommended as one way to combat emerald ash borer confirmed in Boulder, Colo., last month.

EAS attacks all types of ash and is already responsible for tens of thousands of tree deaths in the eastern part U.S and Canada, according to the North Central Integrated Pest

Management Center bulletin “Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer”.

An Ash treeUniversity of Wyoming’s assistant extension entomologist Scott Schell said Wyoming residents should think diversity in their present and future landscapes in order to combat this insect.

“At this point in time, what most of the forestry experts are talking about is trying to diversify,” Schell said. “They’re not recommending not planting ash at this point in time; they want to diversify because in many areas of the country ash was such a great city-urban tree.”

The University of Wyoming and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperate. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Schell said although Wyoming’s challenging climate seems to limit planting options, county extension offices have resources to promote diversification and offer variety suggestions many landowners may not be aware of. Neither EAS nor ash trees are native to Wyoming, but Schell says as an urban tree, some areas will be more susceptible than others, including Cheyenne, Torrington and Casper following the North Platte River Valley.

Education and vigilance will help protect valuable trees and landowners should not hesitate to ask for insect identification if they suspect an infested tree. “A false positive is better than a false negative,” he said.

“It would be appropriate to contact their extension offices – the closest one – and they might not have a horticulturist specialist right there, but they can contact the closest in the three- county area,” Schell explained.

UW Extension, county weed and pest districts, and state and city forestry offices can offer resources to identify and treat EAS. A number states’ extension agencies have made EAS publications available online. Scott Schell can be contacted at 307- 766-2508 or sschell@uwyo.edu.