The Cheyenne Urban Forestry Division recently completed an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) plan for Cheyenne, and has begun implementing several of its initiatives, including removing and replacing ash trees in poor health located on City property and providing outreach to the public and green industry. In addition, Urban Forestry has offered help to Rooted in Cheyenne, a designated 501c(3) nonprofit dedicated to improving Cheyenne’s urban forest, which has pledged to help homeowners with a low-cost option to replacing their ash street trees.
While it should be noted that EAB has not been detected in Cheyenne yet, it has been found as close as Longmont, CO, and recently was identified in Nebraska and South Dakota. With these three adjoining states now confirming EAB populations, it’s critical that advance planning occur in Cheyenne due to the potential destruction these beetles can cause to the urban forest.
EAB is an exotic beetle, native to Asia, is about ½ inch long, with a metallic emerald-green head/back and a reddish-purple abdomen. Adult beetles cause little damage, however developing larvae can cause rapid tree mortality by feeding on the inside bark which causes substantial damage, preventing the tree from getting essential water and nutrients to survive. As listed on EmeraldAshBorer.info, as of October 2018, EAB is now found in 35 states, has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees nationwide, and can cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators, and forest industries hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance and replacement costs over time.
Homeowners are encouraged to evaluate their ash trees and consider removing unhealthy trees and replanting now or treating healthy trees once EAB is detected in Laramie County. An EAB Homeowner Decision Guide was recently created to assist homeowners in evaluating their ash trees and offering options. A licensed arborist can also provide tree evaluations and offer management recommendations. The homeowner guide and a current list of licensed arborists in Cheyenne can be found at www.CheyenneTrees.com.
The complete EAB plan for Cheyenne can be found on the Urban Forestry website at www.CheyenneTrees.com. Questions related to the plan may be directed to City Forester Mark Ellison at 307-637-6428.