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New beetle is spreading, damaging trees

Posted: 6:17 PM, Apr 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-12 00:24:23Z

The State Forest Service thinks emerald ash borers are moving east from Boulder County and want people living in the area to know the signs of beetle infestation.

Emerald ash borer is an invasive species that kills many species of ash tree. The green beetle flies to a tree, burrows under the bark and lays its eggs. Those eggs hatch into larva that burrow under the surface of the tree until they mature and find a new host.

This repeated process chokes the tree of water, eventually killing it over a period of two to three years.

In order to educate the public, the CSFS released two videos Monday that explain what an ash tree is, and the signs the emerald ash borer has infested the tree. According to community forester Keith Wood, residents with infected trees have two options: treat an infested tree or remove it from the ground.

"They need to be aware, if they have a tree, they need to make a decision is that tree valuable?" said Wood. "Is it providing benefits that they want to preserve over time and if not, they need to think about removing that tree."

Forest service officials are worried the spread of the emerald ash borer could cost residents and the state millions of dollars in the coming years. 

"With all of the trees infected in Boulder, we expect this to be an ever increasing problem. Not only in Boulder, but to spread to other cities and eventually to Denver," Wood said.

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