Dr. Suding and the BATP featured on Channel 9 News


CU Boulder research project working to preserve apple tree history in Boulder. Story by Erica Tinsley

BOULDER -- There's a dying legacy in Boulder that University of Colorado (CU) researchers and students are trying to save: apple trees.

The Boulder Apple Tree Project began in the fall of 2017, but the collection of apple tree samples just resumed this spring. CU Boulder said apple orchards used to be a common sight across Boulder back in the late 1800s. Many of them have died because of disease and drought, but many of the old trees are still scattered throughout town.

"In my backyard actually, there was this old apple tree and I was shocked in Colorado there was apples and so I started just looking into it," said the project's lead researcher, Katharine Suding.

Suding is a professor in CU Boulder's Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department who came to the university from Berkeley, California.

She wanted to learn more about the trees, and their history in Boulder and Colorado.

"I'm an ecologist, and I'm interested in restoration," she said. "I was surprised that we hardly knew anything about these old apple trees that are dotted all over Boulder, Fort Collins, Denver."

So the first move was mapping.

CU Boulder undergraduates are locating and mapping all the apple trees along the Front Range, with the help of the community, to create an apple tree database.


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