Bartlett Woman Organizes Neighbors To Fight Emerald Ash Borer

BARTLETT, Ill. (CBS) — A Bartlett woman is organizing neighbors to join her in trying to save their tree-lined neighborhood from the emerald ash borer.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Amy Zinga of Bartlett lives on Brookside Drive, a street lined with ash trees. Some are already infested with the ash borer.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

“These trees will die before they will be treated by the village, so it’s up to the residents if they want to save them,” Zinga said.

Zinga is hoping to rally residents to make that happen.

“I’m trying,” she said.

The trees are mostly in the parkways. They belong to the Village of Bartlett, which is weighing its options – removal or treatment.

A demonstration of treatment was staged recently for neighbors. Arborist Jeff Palmer says it will cost about $125 per tree to keep the ash borer away for two years.

If the trees die, Zinga points out, the leafy, shady street could become a sun-baked plain.

“If they die, we’re going to lose this whole look and feel,” she said.

The problem for Bartlett, like many other communities, is that a large percentage of the trees are ash – a total of 38 percent in Bartlett.

The emerald ash borer is an insect native to Asia which arrived in the U.S. in the 1990s. Ash borer larvae kill ash trees by consuming trunk bark, the U.S. Forest Service explains.

The insect was first spotted in Michigan in 2003, and since then has made its way across Illinois, including many Chicago suburbs. The ash borer has also been seen

  • malcom

    why are you trying to get rid of these insects? don’t you want diversity? these insects are just trying to have a better life . sound familiar?

  • anon

    You can byy Bayer Advanced Garden Tree and Shrub Insect Control treatment at any hardware store for about $25 per year. The EAB attacks weak ro injured trees first. Those are the ones that need to be cut down. No action plan from any village on the EAB. Either no budget for treatment or make-work program for viillage employees when all those trees need to be cut down and replaced.

  • treesmatter

    @ malcom — EAB will cause the functional extinction of all ash native to North America. That will result in the co-extinction of more than 40 insects, spiders and mites. Work has yet to be published on what members of the food web are dependent on those doomed arthropods. That’s LOSS of diversity.

    @ anon — you are correct, the Bayer product is affordable and reliable on trees up to about 8″ diameter (width).

    For larger trees, homeowners need to use one of these products to get sufficient dose for full protection — Optrol (apply in April – mid-May) or Greenlight EAB Killer with Safari (apply in June – early July). Re-treat annually until the last untreated ash has died, then watch for info about maintenance strategies (reducing cost). If it gets droughty, water your ash, it makes a huge difference in how well they will come through this plague.

    EAB is ramping up in this area. Trees will no longer be dying as a leisurely rate that allows for village removal. Look for the vast majority of ash to die in the next 6 years. Ask if your village has planned for that hit to budget and manpower.

    Villages that are not treating will be crippled by their inability to keep up with removal of hazardous dead and dying ash. The media needs to be asking hard questions of community leaders who are unprepared.

  • Biil N.

    Malcom needs to wake up!! These bugs were imported here on dunnage & pallet materials shipped to us by China. There are no known native predators to help control the population here in the U.S. and if we do not try to control the spread we will loose all of our ash trees to this invasive species of insect.

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