FORT COLLINS COLORADOAN - The emerald ash borer has been detected in Longmont, marking the first confirmation of the invasive tree pest's presence in Colorado outside of Boulder.
The news of a relatively nearby infestation is significant for Fort Collins because nearly one in five of 40,000 city-owned trees are ash. The beetle, which is native to Asia, has killed more than 50 million ash trees in the United States since appearing in the Detroit area in 2002. It's predicted to kill 9 billion ash trees by 2019.
On Monday, an arborist reported an ash tree on private land in Longmont that he believed to be infested with the emerald ash borer, according to a press release from the Colorado Emerald Ash Borer Response Team. Experts with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the response team confirmed the infestation Wednesday night by identifying an insect removed from the tree, which is now in a quarantine area to prevent the spread of the insect.