Crabby about Aspen crab apples |

Crabby about Aspen crab apples

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Janet Urquhart/The Aspen TimesCrab apple trees bloom in profusion last spring in front of the Pitkin County Courthouse. At least one county commissioner doesn't want to see trees sprayed to keep them from producing fruit, which attracts bears.

ASPEN – A proposal to spray some of the crab apple trees in downtown Aspen next spring has caught the attention of Pitkin County commissioners.

The experiment, if it takes place, would involving trying to prevent the blossoming trees from producing fruit, an attractant for black bears.

If it occurs, Commissioner Michael Owsley said he doesn’t want county trees sprayed. Crab apples line Main Street outside of the historic Pitkin County Courthouse.

“I want to know what the hell they’re talking about,” Owsley said during a commissioner work session Tuesday.

Chris Forman, forester for the city of Aspen, said the spray is not an insecticide and won’t harm honey bees, but Owsley, a beekeeper, said he’s unconvinced.

“I think somebody at the city needs to learn to make crab apple jelly,” he said.

County Manager Hilary Fletcher said she’ll try to arrange for commissioners to be briefed on the plan.

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