Emerald Ash Borer in Sugar Grove

By on August 15, 2013

SUGAR GROVE—Have you noticed that it appears that some parkway trees appear to be playing tic/tac/toe? There is a reason behind those mysterious X’s and O’s: it’s the village of Sugar Grove’s Public Works Department tracking the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

On July 1, 2008, the Illinois Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Sugar Grove. Since that time, all ash trees within the village right-of-way are inspected annually for signs of EAB. Signs of infestation include “D-shaped” exit holes, crown stress, branch sprouting and basal sprouting.

If a tree is determined to be in poor condition or infestation is confirmed it will be marked with a white “x,” which signifies that removal is necessary. Removals are scheduled based on overall condition of the tree. Trees with a 50 percent crown die back or greater are a priority removal. Trees with lesser symptoms of EAB are scheduled as lower priority removal. The goal of this process is to create a buffer zone to slow the spread of the borer, since the adult beetle has a half-mile flight radius after emerging from the tree. This process is called selective reduction.

Response to the EAB prior to this year was to remove all infested trees. In December 2012 the village updated the EAB Response Plan to include the use of insecticide treatments. During the annual inspection, if an ash tree meets criteria for treatment, it is marked with a white “o” (or dot) and treated immediately.

Treatment consists of an insecticide that is applied to the root system of the tree. As the roots absorb the mixture, the treatment is distributed throughout the tree. Treatments will be completed annually. The hope is to slow the infestation and the deterioration and perhaps even save some of the Ash trees. While there is little danger to pets and children, it is recommended that the treated area be avoided until it has dried.

At this time the village is not replacing the trees. However, it does offer a 50/50 cost sharing program for replacement. The costs vary based on species, and planting is completed in the spring and fall. This program has limited funding and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact the Public Works Department for information.

The Public Works Department cannot remove infected trees on private property. The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Compliance guidelines and specifications for Ash Tree removal can be found www.agr.state.il.us/eab/index.php.

If you have any questions or would like further information, contact the village of Sugar Grove Public Works Department at (630) 466-7508 publicworks@sugar-grove.il.us or visit www.sugar-grove.il.us. Additional information on the village’s EAB program can be found at www.sugar-grove.il.us/Dept_PW/EABNL2013 08.pdf.