Submitted by Kane County Forest Preserve District
Another round of ash trees infected with Emerald Ash Borer is being removed from Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve in South Elgin, beginning this week.
The insect was first discovered in Kane County in 2006 and has progressively killed thousands of trees across the area. Forest Preserve District staff have already removed several hundred ash trees from preserves across the county, including many along the entrance drive to Jon J. Duerr.
This week, a contractor will begin removing another 50 trees, this time, near the shelters in the preserve. Tree removal is expected to last through the end of the month.
"Unfortunately, the 50 trees being removed are near popular amenities at Jon Duerr, so they're more noticeable to the public. To replace some of the lost trees, the district will plant EAB-resistant trees including various oaks, hackberry and birch. Part of the cost of new trees will be covered under a unique Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Grant, the Illinois Urban Forest Restoration Grant for EAB," said Drew Ullberg, director of natural resources for the district.
All of the trees being removed are already dead or dying. The Forest Preserve District will chip many of the infested trees, part of standard Department of Agriculture protocol for removal of EAB-affected trees. Large logs will be salvaged and cut into lumber for district projects.
Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in the U.S. near Detroit, in 2002. Since that time, the EAB has killed more than 20 million ash trees in the Midwest. While the adult beetles nibble on foliage, they are thought to cause little damage. The larvae, however, feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting a tree's ability to transport water and nutrients, thereby killing the tree.
Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve is located at 35W003 Route 31 in South Elgin. For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture's website at www.agr.state.il.us or www.emeraldashborer.info.