City of Greeley Continues Program to Protect Against Invasive Beetle

A person wearing a safety helmet obstructed by tree limbs uses a bucket tool to test for Emerald Ash Borer.

The emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that kills ash trees, poses a severe threat to the urban forest canopy in Greeley. Local officials discovered the pest in Berthoud in 2019 and north Fort Collins in 2020. The pest has not yet been identified in Greeley. Still, the emerald ash borer could wipe out every ash tree on public and private property if left unchecked—a loss of almost 1,000 trees. Ash trees make up approximately 15 percent of the Greeley canopy.

The city owns five percent of ash trees, with the rest belonging to private property owners. Greeley’s Forestry Division wants to help residents protect their ash trees from this destructive beetle through the Residential Ash Treatment Program. The program provides private owners access to a city-vetted, licensed pesticide applicator to provide preventative treatments. Applications are found online at under “Permits.” A free account will need to be created to access and monitor the application.

“We encourage property owners to look into preventative measures to protect their ash trees,” says Forestry Manager Shiloh Hatcher. “We want to increase the number of protective treatments each year.”

In 2023, the program protected over 200 privately owned ash trees to combat the spread of the invasive beetle as it inches closer to Greeley. A single treatment protects trees for three years.

“It’s not if the beetle will appear in Greeley; it’s when,” Hatcher says.

Other benefits offered by the program include:

  • Avoiding expensive removal of trees not preventatively treated for EAB
  • Protecting the landscape value of property
  • Prolonging shade on residents’ property
  • Reducing the number of ash trees that need removal once the EAB infestation reaches Greeley

Residents can sign up and apply for the program online through the EAB Residential Treatment Program until May 1. Treatments will take place between June 1 and July 3. For more information, contact