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Article posted: 3/15/2012 3:45 PM

Elk Grove Village gets grant for ash tree removal

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Elk Grove Village has received a $20,000 grant from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to help with ash tree removal and replacement due to an emerald ash borer infestation, Mayor Craig Johnson said at this week's village board meeting.

The village has developed a 10-year program to replace all 5,000 ash trees -- a third of the village's 15,000 tree population, Johnson said.

They will be replaced with 10- to 12-year-old oaks, maples and other varieties of trees, four inches in diameter and about 16 feet tall.

"We've been planning since 2007," Johnson said. "We prepared for it. We don't have to go to bonds the way some other towns are doing it."

The village establish a tree farm near Rockford. Every year since 2007, it has spent $80,000 to plant 500 trees, ranging in age between 5 years and 7 years old, that would eventually be used to replace trees that succumb to the ash borer infestation.

The goal is to replace roughly 400 to 500 trees each year, Johnson said. "We're going to try to stagger the trees coming in so we keep that neighborhood feel," Johnson said.

Elk Grove has earned the title of Tree City USA from The Arbor Day Foundation for 26 years.

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