New Emerald Ash Borer Policy Won't Save Diseased Trees

Barrington adopted a policy that will remove diseased trees and replace them with different species.

The tree-killing pest known as the Emerald Ash Borer made its way to Barrington in 2010. Nearly two years later, the village has adopted policy to mitigate the issue.

Village staff worked with Natural Path Urban Forestry Consultants this spring to complete an Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan. The consultants conducted a thorough tree inventory of the village and proposed options on treating the Ash tree pests. The plan was funded by grant money from Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

One of the biggest decisions the village had to make after reviewing the plan was whether or not chemically treat diseased Ash trees. At this time, staff decided it just wasn’t a cost-effective option.

“There’s no longitudinal data to tell us whether or not the treatment of ash trees can be successful. We’ve decided not to treat any of the current public ash trees,” Trustee Jim Daluga said. “As they become diseased and the disease progresses, we will remove them and replace them in a sensible manner,” he said.

The village has about 1,400 Ash trees that are on public property, which is approximately 20 percent of its public trees. The plan is to replace the Ash Trees as they become diseased with a large variety of tree species.

“We’d like to get a species to be representative of no more than six or seven percent of our total inventory in case something like this happens again with a different species," Daluga said. 

The village will not be replacing all of the Ash trees. As it is, many of them were planted too close together, preventing the full canopy of branches and leaves that a mature tree can provide. About 70 percent of the Ash trees will be replaced to prevent this from reoccurring.

Residents with Ash trees on their own property are welcome to treat them if they desire. They are also able to treat Ash trees located in the parkway in front of their home by applying for a free permit from the village. The health of those trees will still need to be tracked by staff and removed if they become hazardous.

More information on the Emerald Ash Borer Policy will be available in the August newsletter sent to all village residents.

Julie Joyce July 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM
The Barn Nursery has a great ash tree replacement program. Call us at 847-658-3883 if you are interested in a new tree this summer or fall!
Brian J. Borkowicz July 20, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Brian Borkowicz - Certified Arborist I would direct people to The Society of Municipal Arborist's Position Paper on EAB. http://www.urban-forestry.com/assets/documents/eab/sma-eab-position-paper.pdf The information on the management of EAB is always changing. Because of the costs and risks associated with this issue, a question frequently comes to mind. If public and individual budgets are stressed right now, there is significant risk and upfront costs involved with the removal, replacement, and plant health care of newly installed trees, why is removal the only option being discussed ? Additionally, the environmental service benefit is immediately eliminated with the removal approach. http://www.treebenefits.com There are many examples of Ash trees under comprehensive Plant Health Care programs not only surviving, but thriving under intense EAB pressure. It is true there are too many Ash trees as a percentage, planted in the Chicago area, and diversification of the species of trees is always recommended. I would strongly recommend that people investigate a more comprehensive and budget balanced approach to EAB, as suggested by the SMA position paper. 847.417.4901
Jim July 24, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Agree with Brian. More information on treatment at: www.illinoistreeguru.com
Mark Duntemann September 23, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Urban forestry management addresses the contributions that the total system of trees provides over generations. The Village of Barrington carefully reviewed all available options and chose to opt for a policy that would result in a more diverse, healthier, sustainable, and cost-effective urban forest. The policy they have chosen will lead to a system that can be more easily managed at less cost to their tax-paying constituents in a shorter period of time. While there is no question that chemical treatment works to kill the EABs that currently infest a tree, every community must ask: "Is it appropriate?” If, as professionals anticipate, EAB will be here for decades, it is difficult for a municipality to justify the maintenance of an over-planted, moderate-quality species that can only be sustained, at this point, by artificial means. In addition, urban forestry professionals ask: "What does a town want to have as their urban forest in ten or twenty years?" Is it a population that requires constant, additional, and significant costs to maintain or a healthy, diverse urban forest? The former option diverts significant municipal funds to a small portion of the tree population to the detriment of the remaining non-ash trees, provides no long-term solution, and provides no clear outcome for the future. The latter choice emphasizes effective forest management. -Mark Duntemann ISA-Board Certified Master Arborist (RM-131B) American Society of Consulting Arborist


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