LOVELAND, Colo. – River Bluffs Open Space trailhead, 6371 E. County Rd. 32E, will be closed Thursday, February 13 for removal of six hazardous Siberian elm trees lining the parking lot. The Poudre River Trail segment running through the property will remain open, but vehicles will not be allowed in the lot.

Siberian elm are non-native invasive trees that are listed on the Colorado Noxious Weed Watch List because they pose a potential threat to agriculture and environmental values of the state.  Prior to Larimer County purchasing the open space, Siberian elms were widely planted because of tolerance to drought and fast growth. County staff removed 715 Siberian elm trees along the Poudre River at River Bluffs Open Space in 2011 as part of an effort to restore native species to the riparian corridor. 

The trees identified for removal at River Bluffs Open Space are at the end of their life span and have significant structural damage, making them weak. This structural damage poses a public safety threat at the trailhead. Removing these trees will also limit the seed source for Siberian elm at the open space.

Re-planting at the site is slated to begin in the early spring with a wider diversity of trees, including chinkapin oak, buckeye, pinyon pine and Kentucky coffee tree. Planting multiple genus’ of trees makes the landscape more resilient to insect damage and disease. These trees are also stronger structurally than the Siberian elm. Few tree species establish easily in the highly variable and semi-arid climate along the Front Range, making tree selection and proper planting critical.

For questions or more information, please contact Casey Cisneros, Land Stewardship Manager, at (970) (970) 498-5769 or ccisneros@larimer.org, or Dave Lentz, Forester, at (970) 498-5765 or dlentz@larimer.org.

About Larimer County Department of Natural Resources 
Natural Resources manages Larimer County’s great outdoor places, including magnificent open spaces and water-based recreation areas, and fosters responsible land stewardship through weed management and healthy forest practices. To learn more, visit www.larimer.org/naturalresources or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

Published on: 
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 11:05am
Contact Details:

Casey Cisneros, Land Stewardship Manager, (970) 498-5769
Dave Lentz, Forester, (970) 498-5765

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