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updated: 6/20/2013 6:06 PM

Des Plaines accelerates ash tree removal

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The Des Plaines City Council this week approved spending an additional $100,000 for the replacement of trees affected by the emerald ash borer infestation.

There are 3,708 ash trees located in city parkways. The city plans to remove 3,564 ash trees over a five-year period. The parkway tree removal program began in 2012.

To date, the city has removed 1,543 ash trees, more than what was expected due to the lower contractor costs for tree removals and an unseasonably warm winter in 2012. Officials anticipate removing 500 more trees this year.

The city already has budgeted $50,000 for the program this year, but the additional funding will help accelerate tree replacement, resulting in the planting of 285 additional trees this fall, officials said.

The acceleration allows the city to offer tree replacement options to residents who had trees removed between Jan. 1 and May 31, 2013, officials said.

Replacement trees would be purchased through an agreement with the Suburban Tree Consortium. The total cost to purchase and plant a tree ranges from $300 to $350 depending on the species. Residents would share in the costs, paying $50 per tree.

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