From The Denver Post (Emilie Rusch):
An offensive against the Russian olive tree — an invasive species that chokes out native cottonwoods and willows — has been launched by Denver, Lakewood, Englewood, Colorado Heights and the Fort Logan National Cemetery. “They’re thorny, nasty trees,” said Drew Sprafke, an official with the city of Lakewood Regional Parks. “When they form those dense stands, no one can get through them.”
Using a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, an 11-person crew from Mile High Youth Corps will be working through early August removing the trees from the lower Bear Creek watershed.
Introduced to Colorado as an ornamental tree, Russian olives can be identified by their narrow, silvery leaves and olive-shaped fruit. They prefer moist, riparian areas, but can be found just about anywhere — along streams, in fields and open space, even ditches, Sprafke said
The eventual goal, Sprafke said, is to remove every Russian olive from Bear Creek Lake Park to the South Platte in Denver during a multiyear process.
The trees are considered a List B noxious weed by the state of Colorado, meaning local governments are required to manage and limit their spread.
Sprafke estimates there are 1,500 Russian olives between Bear Creek Lake Park and Wadsworth Boulevard.
More invasive species coverage here.