Tree Body of Palos Park
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The Emerald Ash Borer Arrives!!!   

This year’s generally comfortable summer weather has resulted in the discovery of a much feared and potentially landscape changing beetle called the Emerald Ash Borer (E.A.B.). Government agencies and local tree experts have searched for signs of the E.A.B. on Illinois’ash trees for the past 3 years. Since first being detected on an ash tree in Michigan in 2002, the beetle has killed more than 15 million ash trees in that state alone.  Experts believe beetles actually  infested trees in Michigan anywhere from 3 to 5 years before 2002. The borers are believed to have been brought to Illinois through firewood or nursery stock. The transportation of firewood and nursery stock across state lines from Michigan or Indiana is illegal.

Currently, the Morton Arboretum and the Illinois Department of Agriculture are thoroughly inspecting all ash trees within a square mile radius of infected trees. Once the scope of the spread of E.A.B. is established, quarantine areas will be set up around the infested trees.  Currently there are no treatments or 100% effective pesticides that completely kill and stop the spread of the borer.  Ash trees infested with the borer will inevitably die. 

There are approximately 131 million ash trees in Illinois. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 5 trees in the Chicagoland area are ash trees. There are over 1000 ash trees growing on Village owned property alone. Private property and Forest Preserve figures could easily push the number of ash trees in our community to over 5,000. The arrival of E.A.B. to Palos Park would have a tremendous impact to our own and surrounding properties. 

With the arrival of the E.A.B. and continuous spread of such diseases as “Oak Wilt” and “Dutch-Elm” disease, some of our areas main tree species are in jeopardy. We recommend that residents plant not more than 10% of one species on their properties. Having many different  tree species in your yard would eliminate a major impact to your landscape in the event of disease to one species.  Residents should consult their local nursery or tree service for information on correctly diversifying their landscape. Any questions or concerns about the E.A.B. should be directed to the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 847-294-4343 or to the E.A.B. hotline at 1-866-EAB-4512. There are also free informational brochures on the E.A.B. at the Kaptur Administration Center.