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updated: 9/24/2012 11:08 PM

E. Dundee looks to replace ash borer-infested trees

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When it comes to replacing ash trees infested by emerald ash borer, East Dundee leaders are going to see how much they can get for $19,900.

Monday night, the village board committee of the whole gave preliminary approval to get estimates from three local vendors to see how many replacement trees the village can buy.

"You can go to three nurseries and say 'Guys, tell me how many trees can you get in for $19,900,' ... and if they come back and say, 'It's only 40,' we're not going to do it," Trustee Rob Gorman said. "But if they come back and say, 'We'll do 100 trees,' let's go for it."

At the moment, there are 191 trees of several varieties that need to be removed in East Dundee.

Of those, 88 are ash trees, said Tim Wilson, the village's water superintendent who also deals with trees.

Based on estimates provided by each vendor, officials will know how many trees they can remove and replace by the end of this year.

East Dundee set the number under $20,000 to avoid a lengthy bidding process that could have put the village behind schedule removing and replacing trees, Village Administrator Bob Skurla said.

Ever since emerald 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.

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.

It is not yet known how many ash trees are in East Dundee, as the village has not completed a full inventory, Wilson said.

Officials hope to have an answer from vendors by mid-October and complete the planting and removal by Thanksgiving, Wilson said.

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