CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago is treating city’s 35,000 viable ash trees, even though there’s no guarantee they’ll survive the emerald ash borer, reports WBBM’s John Cody.

Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams rejects the idea of just leaving all the city’s ash trees to their fate.

“The problem with that is if you let all these trees go at one time you are suddenly going to have upwards of 80,000 dead trees on your hand at one time,” said Williams. “That is a daunting task to deal with. What we are doing is we are managing this, we are fighting this insect.”

And Williams says many of the 35,000 remaining viable ash trees may well pull through with the treatment Chicago is providing. He says this is part of a $2.7 million forestry budget boost that’ll also increase by 15,000 the number of trees being trimmed this year on city parkways.

Watch & Listen LIVE