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posted: 8/3/2012 5:33 PM

Carpentersville may hire company to cut down 31 ash trees

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  • Carpentersville trustees may hire a company to cut down 31 large trees infested with the emerald ash borer because the trees are too close to homes and power lines.

      Carpentersville trustees may hire a company to cut down 31 large trees infested with the emerald ash borer because the trees are too close to homes and power lines.
    Photo courtesy of U of I Professor James Appleby


On Tuesday, the Carpentersville village board is scheduled to take a vote on whether to hire a company to remove infested ash trees from precarious locations near houses and power lines.

Ever since the ash borer was first spotted in northern Illinois in 2006, the bug, which feeds on ash trees, has been found in more than 100 communities in the state.

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Adults form D-shaped holes in diseased trees after lying dormant during the winter.

They develop from wormlike larvae that suck the trees dry of their nutrients.

Dead branches at the tops of trees and increased woodpecker activity are signs of ash borer infestation.

There are more than 2,200 ash trees in the village and most of them show at least one sign of infestation, said Sean McGovern, the assistant to the public works director who is helping to oversee the village's emerald ash borer program.

"We suspect that a majority of the ash trees are either infested, or will soon be infested by the emerald ash borer," McGovern said.

Seventy-five of them have been removed within the past year -- public works employees uprooted between 70 and 80 percent of them and the rest were contracted out, McGovern said.

The board is considering spending $29,095 to hire Lake Villa-based Clean Cut Tree Services to stump 31 of the worst off trees in the village.

Because these trees are larger and are near power lines or homes, the public works department doesn't have the resources to remove them -- which is why an outside contractor is needed, McGovern said.

The village board had been scheduled to vote on hiring the business at last week's board meeting, but could not, because three trustees were not in attendance.

While the village has replaced between 20 and 30 percent of the diseased trees with other species, there are no official plans yet to replace the others.

The board also would like to tackle whether to create a cost share program with residents to remove ash trees in the public right of way.

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