State Agriculture dept. issues quarantine for Boulder plants over Emerald Ash Borer

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The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that is responsible for the death or decline of tens of millions of ash trees in 21 states. (Photo: Colorado.gov)

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that is responsible for the death or decline of tens of millions of ash trees in 21 states. (Photo: Colorado.gov)

BOULDER, Colo. — In a step to prevent the spread of a highly destructive pest to ash trees, the state agriculture department issued a quarantine of plants and plant parts from Boulder.

“The Emerald Ash Borer is a highly destructive pest to ash trees. In other states, it has caused significant economic impact to property owners and the nursery and landscaping industries. The quarantine is vital to limiting further infestation,” said CDA’s Plant Inspection Division Director, Mitch Yergert.

The emergency quarantine prohibits the movement of all untreated plants and plant parts of the genus Fraxinus out of the quarantined area. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Logs and green lumber
  • Nursery stock, scion wood, and bud wood
  • Chips and mulch, either composted or uncomposted
  • Stumps, roots and branches
  • Firewood of any non-coniferous (hardwood) species

The quarantine applies to Boulder County and several other locations including:

  • Boulder County, Colorado (unincorporated county and all cities and towns within the county)
  • The entire town of Erie, Colorado
  • The area extending East from Boulder County with a Southern boundary of and including Highway 7, a Northern boundary of and including Highway 52 and an Eastern boundary of and including Weld County Road 7
  • Highway 93 extending South from the Boulder County line to the entrance of Republic Landfill, including the entire landfill property, and including the entire property at 11218 Highway 93 on which the business of the Singing Saw Woodworks is operated
  • The 15 acre, fenced, Community Sort Yard located at 8200 Highway 7 in Allenspark CO on the Boulder/Larimer County line

Quarantined items may be transported within the quarantined area but may not be moved outside its borders without specific authorization from the Commissioner of Agriculture or the United States Department of Agriculture. Any person violating this quarantine is subject to civil penalties up to $1,000 per violation.

“We have cooperated with the state on the implementation of the temporary quarantine and will continue to work to understand the potential impacts of the EAB in Boulder County,” said Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones. “Boulder County, in conjunction with the state and affected local partners, has begun to develop a response plan that will outline potential actions on county owned lands and provide guidance for private residents.”

Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that is responsible for the death or decline of tens of millions of ash trees in 21 states.

It is a small, green metallic beetle first detected in North America in 2002 in southeastern Michigan. The emerald ash borer attacks only ash trees and all ash species – including green, white, black and blue – are at risk.

Last week the state agriculture department held a show-in-tell for foresters to know how to spot the EAB.

While difficult to identify in early stages, the state is using protocols developed by the Canadian Forest Service which allows for random branch sampling in mile grids around where the first infected tree was found.

There are about 38,000 city park and private trees in Boulder. Experts estimate 6,000 are ash.

Ironically ash trees were planted when Dutch Elm disease killed off elm trees in the 70s, and now these wonderful shade trees are fighting off the EAB bug, as foresters try to prevent them from spreading.

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