Huntley's ash tree replacement program has been so popular with residents that officials were forced to shut it down for the rest of the year due to a lack of funds.
The village has been budgeting $20,000 for the program since 2009 but it had to borrow $8,000 from its reserves this year, thanks to a record 185 orders for 192 trees, said Barb Read, who oversees the village's emerald ash borer program. The most orders the village previously received was 135, she said.
The program allows residents to get a replacement tree from the village or buy one from a nursery. In both cases, homeowners have the option of billing the village for half of their costs, up to $175.
"We want to get as many trees replaced as possible, but now we're not taking any new orders for trees," Read said. "This was a stellar year for the 50/50 tree program."
The emerald ash borer has destroyed more than 700 ash trees in the village's residential parkways and is on its way to ravaging the rest of the population within the next five years. There are 2,288 ash trees in the residential parkways, according to Village Manager Dave Johnson.
Just because the tree replacement program is over for 2013 doesn't mean the village's ash tree activities will cease. "We are still going out and inspecting all the ash trees in the village parkways, the residential parkways and tagging them for removal this year," Read said. "Everybody who has placed an order thus far will get their tree."