City explains crabapple sprayings |

City explains crabapple sprayings

Dear Editor:

We’re heard several questions regarding the city’s decision to test a product that will keep downtown crabapple trees from producing fruit.

Given last summer’s 713 bear complaints and an unprecedented number of bears in the downtown core, the city must act on all fronts to decrease bear/human conflicts. We are moving forward with a trial spraying of crabapple trees to see if it will alleviate the attractant situation the trees create.

The product we are using is called Florel and is based on the chemical ethephon. It breaks down in the plant to ethylene, a naturally occurring compound.

Florel is, most importantly, not an insecticide. It won’t kill anything other than the flowering fruit of the crabapples where we apply the product. Picking crabapples from every tree in town is not a viable solution. And if every crabapple were picked and moved to the forest for bears to consume, it would artificially inflate the bear population and cause more conflicts in the future, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife. It is also against state law to feed wildlife.

The city, Pitkin County and Colorado Division of Wildlife are working together to lessen bear/human conflicts in Aspen. Using Florel is just one component of that approach. For more information, visit

Sally Spaulding

community relations director, city of Aspen