Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a small (1/2 inch long, 1/8 inch wide) metallic green beetle native to Asia. The first reported case of EAB in the United States was in Michigan in 2002. Since then, EAB has been detected in Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada. In 2013, the Village of Willowbrook received official notice from the Illinois Department of Agriculture that an EAB presence had been discovered and documented. To date, EAB is responsible for the destruction of more than 20 million ash trees.
Signs and Symptoms of EAB
The most visible sign of infestation is crown dieback. Branches at the top of the crown will die and more branches will die in subsequent years. As the tree dies, suckers will sprout from the base of the tree and on the trunk. The bark may also split vertically and woodpeckers may feed on the beetle leaving visible damage on the bark. Adult beetles emerging from trees will leave a very small, 1/8 inch diameter distinctly "D" shaped exit hole that may appear anywhere on the trunk or upper branches.
EAB Management Plan
In May 2012, the Village Board approved a proposal to conduct a stem by stem inventory of all publicly owned trees (parkway and park trees) as well as develop an EAB Management Plan. As part of the inventory, EAB infected ash trees were identified throughout the Village. From this list of infected trees, the Village will begin a phased removal and replacement process over the next several years starting in July 2013. The EAB Management Plan calls for the removal of between 200 and 250 trees for each year of the program. Trees that have been identified for removal will be marked by the Public Works Department.
Where feasible, all tree removals will be replaced with a tree at no cost to the resident. If your parkway tree has been identified for removal, the tree will be tagged and an informational letter will be sent. Contained within the informational letter will be a Tree Replacement Preference Form. This form gives residents an opportunity to request the species type for their replacement tree. The Tree Replacement List is available for download and provides pictures and descriptions of all available replacement species being offered by the Village. The Village cannot guarantee that the site of the removed tree will be suitable for replanting or that your choice of replacement species will be granted. Every effort will be made to meet your choice. In an effort to promote a diversified tree population throughout town, the Village will make the final determination in the choice of species selected. Requests will be considered on a first come, first serve basis. If no selection is made, the Village will choose an appropriate replacement species. Two weeks prior to the planting, the Village will stake the approximate location of the tree. Please contact the Village Hall at (630) 323-8215, if you have any questions regarding the EAB tree removal program.