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Many Trees Could Disappear In Colorado Because Of Non-Native Pest

DENVER (CBS4) - Arbor Day is coming up -- a day people are encouraged to plant and care for trees. But the state is a warning about a bug that has killed millions of trees across the country and it is getting a foothold in Colorado.

The emerald ash borer is a non-native pest that has the potential to dramatically change the landscape of the Denver metro area.

An Emerald Ash Borer Beetle (credit: Colorado State Forest Service)

"If a tree gets attacked or if a tree gets infested by these bugs it will die," Dan West with the Colorado State Forest Service said.

Millions of trees have been killed by the bug across the country from the East Coast to Colorado. West says lots of Colorado's trees may disappear.

"If you think about looking out on the landscape, one in five trees is an ash. So if you were to see one in five trees that died and needed to be removed, it's going to be very impactful," West said.

Emerald Ash Borer
(credit: CBS)

The Forest Service is predicting many ash trees may be killed by the insect.

"It's problematic in North America and the United States because there is no natural predators," West said.

West says people could remove or spray trees that are infected. The Forest Service suggests replacing ash trees with different species and spring is a great time to do it.

Emerald Ash Borer
(credit: CBS)

"What you can do is you can under plant (your) tree … you could plant some trees underneath it now and it will give you a couple of years for those trees up and established before you remove the tree," West said.

Things to look for in trees include dead branches, cracks in the bark, and even groves under the bark.


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