Buffalo Grove is stepping up its efforts to remove dead or dying ash trees infested with the emerald ash border, cutting down as many as 40 a day this summer.
"Originally we were doing spot removals, but with the infestation at this point now, we don't have a choice but to do area-wide removals," said Village Manager Dane Bragg.
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Tom Milas, who heads the village's emerald ash borer management program, reported to the village board this week that, despite weather-related setbacks, more than 600 trees have come down so far this year. The village has an estimated 3,000 infested ash trees.
According to the village, ash removals have resumed in the Strathmore subdivision. Targeted for removal are trees on Checker Drive, Ridgefield Lane, Belmar Lane, Aspen Drive, Cloverdale Court, Amherst Court, Aspen Court and Clohesey Drive.
Milas said the village also plans to catch up on stump grinding and restoration, which was halted last year by weather conditions.
"Last season was incredibly hot and dry," he said. "We postponed the stump grinding through the hottest part of the summer and that set us back in the stump grinding and parkway restoration quite a bit. This winter was exceptionally long. We had snow stacked up in our parkways for months on end. That also delayed our process of stump grinding."
The next challenge will be to even the ratio between planting and removal. Last year the village removed more trees than it planted, but plans call for the planting of 3,000 trees between fall and the spring of 2015. An additional 1,000 trees were purchased this season to help reach that goal.
Although the village is removing most ash trees, Milas said 184 parkway trees are receiving treatment to fight off ash borer infestation.
"Treatment appears to be successful, if you get it at the right time," he said.