Solutions to pests affecting ash trees in Grand Junction

Trees in Lincoln Park in Grand Junction
Trees in Lincoln Park in Grand Junction(KKCO / KJCT)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 9:29 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Drought conditions have affected us here in the Grand Valley over the summer, with the most significant concern being wildfires. However, another problem around town is affecting the ash trees: pests.

In Grand Junction, ash trees are an essential part of the town, according to Rob Davis, Grand Junction’s Forester. He mentions that three different types of pests can affect the ash trees around town: the Ash Bark Beetle, Lilac Ash Borer, and Emerald Ash Borer. Over the past five years, these pests have become more of a problem, and some theories suggest that drought conditions are allowing these pests to invade the trees, Davis states.

To help control the pest problem, Grand Junction does two different types of applications to trees. The first application is trunk spraying, a chemical sprayed on the tree’s trunk. These applications get reapplied once every year. The second application is tree injection. During this process, they drill a hole at the surface of the trunk and inject a chemical that can help protect the tree. This process can last up to three seasons. However, Davis mentions that it is time-consuming and requires more labor.

The city has used these methods before but only applied them to public trees. This year, the city has introduced a new program that helps expand this process to private property owners. Grand Junction has teamed up with T4 Tree Service to help homeowners with the application. Root for Our Trees is a program funded by the city’s main fund account and has contributed $85,000. However, while this program allows one treatment to get applied, some requirements exist.

The only available treatment is direct injection, and requirements include that trees must be on residentially zoned lots, growing within Grand Junction city limits, and have a minimum diameter of 8 inches or more. If all do apply, then the next factor is the cost. With the Root for Our Trees program, the city will use the money to help pay for the treatment. There is a $225 minimum fee for treatment; this is what property owners’ pay and is half of the services. The city will split the cost with the owners up to $500.

The pests in Grand Junction have become a big problem for the ash trees in the city. Now, with this new program, the city can expand these services to the homeowners of Grand Junction. If you are a homeowner looking to request tree service, you can visit this website and fill out the form. Head to Grand Junction city’s website to learn more about Roots for Our Trees.