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.