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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 winter of 2012-13, Homer Tree Care in Lockport removed about 200 dead ash trees that were deemed most unsafe. Meanwhile, the Village also responded to a number of requests to remove dangerous limbs and addressed other trees that required a rapid response.

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 initial treatment will receive another round of injections. Those that did not respond well were added to the list of removals handled by Homer Tree Care. Homer recently finished the process of completely removing the nearly 10,000 remaining ash trees that were susceptible to the beetle. The scale of this ash removal project cannot be overstated, as it is believed to be the largest ever in the state of Illinois.

Ash trees were 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 was not scheduled for removal.
  • If the ash tree had a blue dot, it was scheduled for removal.

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.

All of the tree removal, stump removal and site restoration work was completed by December 2014. If you are aware of a location with a standing ash tree scheduled for removal, a remaining stump from a removed ash tree, or a pile of wood chip grindings that needs to be restored, please contact our Public Works office at (708) 444-5500.

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 began 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.