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updated: 6/17/2011 12:59 PM

Ash borer hits Villa Park, Oak Brook

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Emerald ash borer sightings continue, this time in Oak Brook and Villa Park.

Oak Brook staff members have confirmed the presence of the beetle in a half-dozen parkway trees in the Saddlebrook neighborhood.

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Meanwhile, after finding an infested parkway tree in the 600 block of Pleasant Street, Villa Park's forestry division inspected parkway ash trees within a half-mile radius and found more infestations.

Both villages are removing infested trees and checking other ash trees for signs of the destructive insect.

In Oak Brook, about 20 percent of parkway trees are ashes. Saddlebrook, Brook Forest and Trinity Lakes have the highest ash tree population.

Oak Brook has been removing and replacing diseased or weakened ash trees every year since 2009, with roughly 50 trees removed annually. The village's goal is to reduce the number of ash trees and plant new ones before mass die-offs begin. Residents are offered the opportunity to choose new trees from a list of healthier species.

Signs of emerald ash borer infestation include D-shaped exit holes in the tree's bark, heavy woodpecker damage from the birds eating ash borer larvae, dieback in the tree's canopy and sprouts growing from the tree's trunk and roots, according to a news release from Villa Park.

"What we're encouraging residents to do is first of all, if they suspect a tree is infested, to contact us or hire a tree-care company that can perform an inspection," said David Niemeyer, village manager in Oak Brook.

Oak Brook residents should call (630) 368-5270; Villa Park residents should call (630) 834-8505.

Some residents would prefer to spray trees located on their property to treat for EAB, but the season for spraying -- mid-April to mid-June -- is just about over. Homeowners are responsible for taking care of infested trees on their property, Niemeyer said.

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