Town of Greeley offers ash tree treatment program as invasive beetles close in on community

March 22 – Greeley officials are helping residents combat an encroaching beetle infestation in northern Colorado with a preventative residential ash treatment program.

The discovery of the emerald ash borer, a species of beetle that can devastate ash trees, occurred in May 2020 north of Fort Collins, a year after it arrived in Burgdorf.

The beetles, defined as destructive and invasive, have not been identified in Greeley, but due to the location of the pests in nearby communities, the town faces a threat of infestation. An emerald ash borer infestation could damage thousands of ash trees, which make up 15% of the local forest, according to a statement from the town of Greeley.

The city owns about 5% of Greeley’s ash trees, while the rest is privately owned.

As a result, Greeley officials want to help residents protect their ash trees from this type of invasive beetle with the Residential Ash Treatment Program. The program issues a potential savings treatment that provides protection for three years to residents who own ash trees, according to the release.

“We really encourage landowners to consider preventive measures and protect their ash trees,” said Shiloh Hatcher, Greeley Forestry Manager. “This program can help many trees in Greeley and we certainly hope to increase the number of protective treatments each year.”

In 2021, the program provided treatment to more than 100 private trees to help survive the destructive beetle as it closes in on Greeley.

How it works

Greeley’s Residential Ash Treatment Program allows residents to pay the Town of Greeley to hire a licensed pesticide applicator to tend to their ash trees with preventative treatments.

Once the application is submitted, a municipal inspector will visit the resident’s property and assess the ash trees. After the initial inspection, the applicant will be notified of the results, including the size of the trees measured, the condition of the trees and an estimate of the cost of treating the trees, according to the city.

If resident trees are eligible for the program, they will receive a prompt for payment to the Town of Greeley before treatments are scheduled. City officials said all treatments will take place between June 15 and July 3.

Preventative treatments not only provide inexpensive solutions to help protect trees, they also reduce the destructive impact on the community forest when the invasive beetle arrives.

Additional benefits offered by the program, according to the City of Greeley, include:

* Avoid the costly removal of trees not treated preventively against the emerald ash borer.

* Protect the long-term benefits of trees.

* Protect the landscape value of the property.

* Extend shade on residents’ property.

* Reduce the total number of ash trees that will need to be removed in Greeley once the emerald ash borer infestation occurs.

Residents have until May 1 to apply for the 2022 treatment cycle of this program. To register, go to greeleygov.com/EABtreatment.

The cost of treatment through this program will depend on the total number of participants in an annual treatment cycle, according to the statement. If more residents participate in the program, individual costs may be reduced.

For more information about this program, contact Forestry Officer Shiloh Hatcher at (970) 351-5150 or [email protected]


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