Drones are joining the fight against the emerald ash borer

Noel Brennan, KUSA 7:06 PM. MDT July 13, 2017

Drones are taking flight and joining the fight against the emerald ash borer in Colorado.

The EAB is tiny, but the insect is responsible for the death of millions of ash trees across 27 states.

“If you catch trees in early stages of infestation you can often save that tree,” said Dan Staley.

He's an urban forester leading an effort to save ash trees in Colorado. He heads up Arbor Drone LLC.

“We’re taking techniques that are used in precision agriculture right now and adapting them to the urban forest,” he said.

Staley is partnering with researchers from Colorado College and a Colorado Springs-based startup called Spectrabotics to collect and study data using drones. On Thursday, the group launched drones equipped with multispectral cameras over a park in Boulder. The cameras capture light in both the visible and infrared spectrum.

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New project to use drones for Emerald Ash Borer research in Boulder

6:19 AM, Jul 13, 2017

BOULDER, colo - A new project is coming to Boulder to study ash trees from above.

Arbor Drone LLC, Spectrabotics LLC, and researchers from Colorado College will collect data using drone flights over southwest Boulder this week to study trees affected by Emerald Ash Borer.

Drone LLC says the main purpose of the Boulder drone flights is to use a multispectral sensor to study the light reflectance of ash trees attacked by EAB. The high-resolution sensor collects light in both the visible and infrared spectrum to study plant health.

Researchers say understanding how trees react when attacked by EAB will help urban forest managers to follow the disease and to manage pests in real time...

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