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Article updated: 7/11/2012 12:10 AM

Schaumburg pays $390,460 for ash borer treatments

By Eric Peterson

Schaumburg trustees Tuesday approved a contract of $390,460 for a variety of chemical treatments this fall and next spring to slow the ravages of the emerald ash borer.

Though the cost of the three chemicals is high, it represents only part of the $1.5 million the village expects to pay this budget year to protect and diversify its public parkway tree stock.

The village recently approved another contract for the removal of 1,863 damaged ash trees.

The new contract for chemical treatments was awarded to Robert Kinnucan Tree Experts & Landscaping of Lake Bluff.

In late February, trustees approved the overall long-term plan staff came up with that could last as long as a decade and cost as much as $9 million.

Schaumburg had 12,000 ash trees when the problem of the ash borer was first recognized, and different parts of the village have been differently affected so far, Village Manager Ken Fritz said.

Many of the village's neighborhoods were built at a time when the ash was the favored shade tree among developers for its combination of durability and quick growth.

Just as the neighborhoods within Schaumburg have been affected differently, the approach to fighting the ash borer seems to vary from one community to the next, Fritz said.

"It runs the gamut, depending on how many ash trees you have and what your budget looks like," he said.

The village plans to use the most powerful -- and costly -- chemical treatments to preserve 524 "high value" trees that are 20 inches or more in diameter. A lesser insecticide is hoped to slow the damage to 6,316 smaller trees and buy some time as the village embarks on a reforestation plan. This plan requires that no single type of tree will represent more than 7 percent of the village's entire population.

During these early years in which the village's own reforestation program is dormant, residents are being offered a fifty-fifty cost-sharing plan to replant their lost parkway trees.

Of the $1.5 million budgeted for the emerald ash borer this year, $700,000 was already in the capital improvement plan, while the other $800,000 was taken from last year's surplus.

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