Tree removal program to prevent pests

The Upper Grand Valley Pest Control District is offering money to have residents remove disease-ridden, old or neglected non-commercial fruit trees within the district, which stretches from Clifton to Palisade and into parts of Orchard Mesa.

The district-funded program, which relies on property tax revenue from residents, will pay those who remove their trees $15 to $50 per tree, up to a maximum of $250.

The stipend depends on the size and condition of the fruit tree, according to a Mesa County news release.

Residents will have to contact the district at 255-7121 to schedule a tree inspection.

The inspector will decide if the tree owner is eligible for the program and tell the owner how best to remove the tree.

Once the owner removes the tree, he or she needs to call Melissa Werkmeister, weed and pest coordinator for Mesa County, at 255-7121 to schedule a follow-up inspection.

Owners will be paid after the second inspection.

The program is available on a first-come, first-served basis from October through December. Last year, 34 land owners had a total of 115 trees removed through the program.

State law requires people who live in the Upper Grand Valley Pest Control District to control pests on fruit trees. The district offers the program in hopes of preventing pests from damaged trees on non-commercial property from spreading to commercial fruit trees in the area.

Notices about the program were mailed to 2,800 property owners. To double-check if you live in the district, a map of the district is available at http://ugvpcd.mesacounty.us.

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