Reporting Mike Parker
EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) – The City of Evanston appears to be losing the fight to save its remaining 2000 ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer. CBS 2’s Mike Parker has this Original Report.
Remember the row on stately, 30 foot tall Ash trees on the Sheridan Road parkway at the south end of Evanston? The city has cut them back and painted them bright blue pending their imminent destruction by the city. A pesky insect killed them.
Evanston’s Assistant Public Works Director, Paul D’Agostino explains why.
“Since 2006,” he says, “We’ve had an infestation of Emerald Ash Borer. It started in Northwest Evanston and basically now it’s all four corners.”
D’Agostino says 2,000 trees have been lost so far.
The Emerald Ash Borer is a destructive pest that feeds off Ash trees. They’ve killed off more than 20 million Ash trees so far in the Midwest.
In the 700 block of Oakton, the city took down a dozen infested trees last summer and replaced them with little saplings. It’s not the same.
Resident Brenda Flowers says, “We were very upset by that because there was just nothing there. And we were, like, hey what happened?”
D’Agostino says he hears a lot of complaints from residents, “Everything from ‘my electricity bill is going to go up now because I have no shade’ or ‘we planted that tree when my daughter was born and now it’s gone.”
In recent years, scientists have come up with chemical treatments than can hold off total destruction of some infested trees, but the discovery came too late for Evanston. The Borers have been there for so long and done so much damage already, the entire Ash tree population there is probably doomed.