The City of Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department will have multiple contractors performing tree pruning and removals in city parks and public street rights-of-way over the next several months.
Tree maintenance work will begin mid-October and is scheduled through March 2020.
The scope of tree work includes:
- The week of Oct. 14: Six ash trees will be removed on Pearl St Mall. These trees have severely declined in health due to growing in a restricted root zone and are heavily infested with lilac ash borer, ash bark beetle and emerald ash borer (EAB). All removals are scheduled between 6 and 11 a.m. No street closures will occur as work zones are small and will be coned and taped off for public safety. These trees will be replaced in spring 2020.
- Oct. 15 – March 31, 2020: The remaining 385 tree removals and non-rotational pruning work is citywide and adjacent property owners will be notified via door hanger at least one month prior to the commencement of work.
- Starting Jan. 1, 2020: rotational pruning is scheduled to begin in the Mapleton Hill area.
Of the 418 trees total identified for removal, 302 are ash trees heavily infested with the emerald ash borer (EAB). The remaining 116 non-ash trees are either structurally unsound or are dead/dying and pose a risk to public safety.
Boulder Forestry, a division of the Parks and Recreation Department, manages about 50,000 public trees, including routine monitoring of tree health. City park and public street trees are inspected periodically for structural integrity and safety using industry-set standards and techniques. Urban Forestry staff is conservative when determining if a tree must be removed. Trees are removed due to structural concerns, poor health or if they are diseased/infested with Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Factors that go into the risk assessment are tree species, size, defect and target – what the tree would hit if it fell. This procedure is part of sustainable city practices that facilitate the maintenance of a healthy and diverse urban canopy.
EAB, an invasive wood-boring beetle, attacks all North American ash (Fraxinus spp.) not protected by pesticides. Now present in over 35 other states, EAB has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees over the past two decades. All public and private ash trees in Boulder are currently at risk. Declining public and private ash trees will require removal before they present an unacceptable level of risk to public safety. As EAB populations in Boulder continue to increase, ash trees are expected to die at an accelerated rate. Residents can expect to see growing numbers of ash tree removals citywide on both public and private property over the next several years. To learn more about the city’s EAB Plan, please visit EABBoulder.org.
Tree work along public street rights-of-way may require temporary lane closures or traffic detours. Flaggers will be on-site to ensure public safety and to guide pedestrians through work zones. Specific information is posted the week prior to the City Cone Zones map.
Boulder Forestry also manages a Street Tree Planting Program to support the continued vitality of the city’s tree canopy, environmental sustainability and Climate Action Plan goals. Property owners who are interested in having a free tree planted into the public street right-of-way adjacent to their home may visit BoulderForestry.org and click on “Request a Street Tree.”
The city reminds residents that if you are contracting the removal of a tree on your property, please use a tree care company licensed through the City of Boulder. A list of licensed arborists is found on BoulderForestry.org.
For more information about Boulder Forestry, please visit BoulderForestry.org or call 303-441-4406.
Published: Oct. 14, 2019
Denise White, Parks and Recreation, 303-413-7258
Bryan Rachal, Deputy Director of Communication, 303-441-3155