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posted: 10/31/2012 5:00 AM

Price of not treating ash trees too great

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"Communities, if they do not treat trees, will be overwhelmed. It will cost a huge amount of money to take down trees and logistical nightmare to find enough crews to come to help." -- Professor Miller, Morton Arboretum.

Millions of gallons of rainwater with nowhere to go, lower property values, higher utility costs, barer neighborhoods and dead trees that will prove hazardous to both people and property.

To treat or not to treat? Without the village's 13,000 ash trees:

• An additional 28.6 million gallons of stormwater will hit the ground yearly. Where will it go? In your home!

• 6,890 tons of carbon dioxide annually will be added to the air we breathe.

• Property values will decrease 10-15 percent

• Utility costs will increase 20-25 percent

Employing village crews lowers treatment costs dramatically; treating over 6-8 years will cost approximately $200 per tree versus $900-$1,200 per tree to remove and replace.

Falling trees present a great danger, especially to children who walk the neighborhoods to school. The village will face legal liability for injury and loss. Neighborhoods with 1,500 trees will literally be underwater.

The village voted to treat 800 ash trees solely on village property but refuses to treat its residents' trees.

The village gives residents a $50 rebate to treat the villages' trees but cannot use village work crews to treat these trees for less money.

With 13,000 trees, the village cannot remain passive, there is too much to lose. Trees weakened by drought and/or disease will provide enough natural diversification at a moderate pace over the next five years.

Villages with high tree counts such as Naperville, after years of research, realize the vital need to treat their trees. Letting these trees die will have catastrophic economic, environmental ramifications.

Trees need to be treated in October. This issue impacts the welfare of every village resident. The loss of these trees will be a costly mistake that will take 20 years to correct until replacement trees fully mature.

Contact the mayor to treat trees now! It is the village's responsibility to maintain and protect our community.

Christine Sacks

Arlington Heights

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