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Emerald Ash Borer

After conducting a thorough tree inventory in the fall of 2012, the Village of Tinley Park was able to determine that of the 11,000 ash trees on public property, most had become infested with the destructive Emerald Ash Borer beetle.

In the spring of 2013, the Village contracted Kinnucan Tree and Landscaping in Lake Bluff to administer insecticidal injections to nearly 600 of these trees in an effort to protect them from further damage, as these trees were deemed savable. Sadly, most of the Village ash trees were not as lucky. As a result, Homer Tree Care in Lockport is in the process of completely removing the approximately 10,450 ash trees that did not meet the criteria for treatment.
Ash trees are being tagged with green ribbons or blue dots, depending on the scheduled action:

  • If the ash tree has a green ribbon, it has been treated and is not scheduled for removal at this time.
  • If the ash tree has a blue dot, it is scheduled for removal at this time.

The removal process takes place in three steps. First, the tree is removed, leaving only the stump. Second, the stump is ground out, leaving a pile of wood chips behind. Lastly, during site restoration, the wood chips are removed, the hole is backfilled with black dirt, and grass seed are put down.

Through mid-June, Homer has removed 91 percent of the trees currently scheduled for removal, and 45 percent of the stumps. Site restoration work is scheduled to begin the third week of June, 2014. Tree removal work is expected to be complete in mid-July, 2014. Stump removal and site restoration work is expected to be completed in October, 2014.

Homer Tree Care removed about 200 dead ash trees in the winter of 2012-13 that were deemed most unsafe. The Village already has responded to a number of requests to remove dangerous limbs from several affected trees and will continue to address trees that may pose a safety hazard.

When Homer Tree Care is in your subdivision, please make sure cars are not on the street and are parked away from the tree slated for removal. Residents also should not approach Homer Tree Care personnel as they are working due to the potentially dangerous equipment they’ll be using.

Please be sure to remove any decorations or landscape enhancements that you have installed on or around the tree or stump. This includes holiday lights, ornaments, birdfeeders and ribbons, but the larger issue is material that impedes access to stump removing equipment, such as paving stones, planters, gravel and any other material around the base of the tree (other than soil and mulch). Any landscape treatments left around the tree may be damaged or destroyed during the tree and stump removal processes. If obstructions are left in the parkway, the Village will have to remove the obstructions in order to complete the stump removal process.

EAB tree replacement

The Village is implementing an aggressive tree planting program using non-ash species to make up for the devastating effects of the Emerald Ash Borer. Tree planting will take during fall and spring seasons over the next three years. The replanting program will begin in the fall of 2014 and will continue through spring 2017.

Ash trees on private property

The Village negotiated a preferred pricing option with Homer Tree Care for residents who have Emerald Ash Borer-infected trees on their private property and want them removed. See the general pricing guide (pictured above) for more information. Please keep in mind that these numbers are only a guideline, as there are variables that can increase the price to get trees out safely.

For more information on this option, please call Homer Tree Care directly at (815) 838-0320.

A brief history of the Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. Adult beetles feed on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. The EAB probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in its native Asia.

The EAB is a small (1/2-inch-long, 1/8-inch-wide) metallic green beetle native to Asia. The beetle will fit on a penny, with room to spare. Officials believe the EAB arrived in Illinois in ash tree firewood from a neighboring state. Do not move firewood!

The adult beetle, upon leaving the tree, makes a small D-shaped exit hole that is only 1/8 inch wide. The EAB will only attack ash trees. Proper identification of the ash tree is useful. Another sign of EAB is a woodpecker on the tree. The woodpecker is trying to feed on the beetle.

The crown of the ash tree will die back, and more branches will continually die for the next few years. As the death of the tree continues, suckers at the base of the trunk will sprout.

EAB Resources
Please see the below links for additional resources regarding the Emerald Ash Borer.