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Emerald Ash Borer
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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. In the spring of 2015, ash trees that responded well to the treatment will receive another round of injections. Those that did not respond well will be added to the list of removals being handled by Homer Tree Care in Lockport. Homer is in the process of completely removing the nearly 10,000 ash trees that were susceptible to the beetle.

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-September, Homer has removed 93% of the trees currently scheduled for removal, 73% of the stumps and 42% of the site restorations. All of the tree removal, stump removal and site restoration work is expected to be completed by the first week of December, 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 place during fall and spring seasons over the next three years. The replanting program will begin in October 2014 and will continue through spring 2017.

Click here for more information on the Village's Tree Planting Program.

Ash trees on private property
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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 at right) 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.