Jul 29, 2014
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City, Arboretum Holding Public Meeting on Ash Borer Problem

The insidious insect is cutting a wide swath through Joliet, with an estimated 1,000 infected trees likely to be removed by year's end.

City, Arboretum Holding Public Meeting on Ash Borer Problem
A public informational meeting on the emerald ash borer -- which could infect thousands of trees in Joliet -- will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Joliet Public Library Black Road Branch.

The event is being co-sponsored by the City of Joliet Forestry Department and the Morton Arboretum, and will explain what the invasive insect does to kill ash trees and what means are available to control or stop it. The library is located at 3395 Black Road.

A guest speaker from the arboretum will provide information on cost-effective
options to manage the insect, including resources and information on treatment,
costs and replanting. It has several community and homeowner publications about the emerald ash borer on its Web site, www.mortonarb.org/community-trees.

City Forester Jim Teiber will discuss the status of this forest pest in the City of Joliet and what steps are being taken to address the problem.

The city has already removed more than 300 trees, and Teiber estimated earlier this year that it's possible more than a thousand could be down by year's end. A $12,000 grant awarded to the city for tree replacement will only be enough to purchase 50 to 90 trees, officials estimate.

There are newer parts of the city where as much 80 percent to 100 percent of the trees planted in public parkways are ash, and their removal will essentially "deforest" some subdivisions.

The problem with the borer is it's very hard to detect. The adult leaves its larvae under the bark, and those larvae eat through the would before emerging in tiny d-shaped holes. Many times, it's not known that a tree is infected until the top starts to die and the bottom of the trunk starts to grow branches, a last ditch effort by the tree to try to survive.

While many municipalities have opted for short-term treatments to give officials time to replace trees, Joliet officials have opted to remove infested trees and look for grant money to start the process of replacing them.

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