Dead tree at Vail golf course being investigated by state

It could take two or three months before the tree's cause of death is determined

Why did this tree on the Vail golf course die? The answer is being sought by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
Greg Luciano/Courtesy photo

The Vail Golf Club course is in its summer green glory right now. That makes a dead evergreen stick out even more.

The tree’s needles have almost all turned red, and its condition has drawn a lot of attention.

The Vail Recreation District is investigating, since it operates the course. Town officials and the Vail Police Department are also investigating.

Vail Senior Landscape Architect Gregg Barrie wrote in an email there’s a possibility the tree may have been poisoned, but that’s going to require more investigation.

Vail Recreation District Director Mike Ortiz wrote that while the investigation continues, he and other officials “want to get to the bottom of this.”

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That’s where the Colorado Department of Agriculture Pesticide Division comes in.

Olga Robak, a public information officer with the Department of Agriculture, confirmed the investigation, but said only that it looks like the tree’s been exposed to an “unknown substance by an unknown person.”

While the tree appears to have a hole drilled in the trunk, Robak said a full evaluation is expected to take between two and three months. If no pesticide or herbicide is found in the tree’s tissue, the state will close its case.

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