LAKEMOOR – Emerald ash borers have been killing trees all over Illinois, and the village of Lakemoor is the latest to be affected.
At a public meeting Monday night, village officials and three residents heard an informational presentation by the Illinois Department of Agriculture regarding the emerald ash borers.
The village then presented its plan to remove, treat and replace affected trees.
The green beetle, which is native to Asia, was first discovered in Lakemoor by the Ag Department on March 31, and it advised the village to begin a removal and treatment plan of affected trees.
The close proximity of trees to one another in the parkways allow the beetles to spread rapidly. It is there where the damaged trees were discovered.
So far, Lakemoor has removed 217 trees damaged by the beetle and its larvae and treated an additional 37.
Lakemoor contracted the McGinty Brothers, a professional tree and lawn care service, to help locate and identify damaged trees by doing a street-by-street review of parkway trees.
“We went through the residential areas and took tree inventory and noted the condition of each tree,” said Andrew Keppel, manager of general tree work and plant care health for McGinty. “We rated the condition on a scale of ‘great to dead.’ ”
Keppel and the McGinty Brothers have suggested that the village have a “good mix” of trees in the future to combat infestation. As its name suggests, emerald ash borers target ash trees.
The removed trees will be replaced by a variety of four species that are not currently found in Lakemoor. Hybrid elms, white swamp oak, Kentucky coffee and autumn ginkgo trees were suggested, Village President Todd Weihofen said.
The total cost to replace the new trees is $40,000. If a tree is treatable, a spray is administered around the base of the tree or into the ground surrounding the tree.
The cost to treat infected trees ranges from $5 to $7 per inch. The average diameter of ash trees in Lakemoor is 8 to 10 inches.
“We have decided to either treat or remove these trees purely based on the extent of the damage,” Weihofen said.
The village expects the project to be completed by next spring.