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University Hill Commercial Area Tree Removals Scheduled During University of Colorado - Boulder’s Winter Break

The City of Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Forestry Division will perform tree work in the University Hill commercial area, while CU-Boulder is on winter break, Dec. 23, 2019 to Jan. 10, 2020, weather permitting. The University Hill commercial area generally is recognized as the area bordered by Pleasant Street and College Avenue between 13th Street and Broadway.

  • Thirteen ash trees that are heavily infested with emerald ash borer (EAB) will be removed as they have declined severely in health. The trees are considered dead/dying and pose a risk to public safety.
  • Five additional trees of various species will be removed as they are dead/dying and pose a risk to public safety.
  • All removals are scheduled between 8 and 11 a.m. No street closures are anticipated as work zones are small and will be coned and taped off for safety.
  • A tree replacement plan is being developed by the city’s Community Vitality Department, which maintains the commercial district streetscape, in consultation with the City’s Forestry Division. The plan will be presented for consideration to the Boulder City Council-appointed members of the University Hill Commercial Area Management Commission.
  • To meet the city’s urban tree canopy goals and guidelines, the plan will include a mix of tree replacement, landscaping and upgrades to the tree irrigation system to ensure the viability of the new trees. It is anticipated that a plan draft will be ready for public review and comment in early 2020. Replanting will likely occur as weather allows in spring or early summer 2020.

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: Dec. 19, 2019

Media Contacts:

Denise White, Media Relations, 303-413-7258
Bryan Rachal, deputy director of Communication Dept., 303-441-3155