The Mokena Village Board recently launched an aggressive program to proactively deal with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a highly destructive insect attacking ash trees throughout the Mokena community. The program will involve the treatment or removal of almost 3,700 public/parkway ash trees over the next several years.
Due to the all-inclusive nature of the EAB infestation in the area, and to maximize the effectiveness of treatments, only the healthiest of trees will be treated/saved, while all other (untreated) trees will ultimately have to be removed and replaced.
Following are key elements of the program, which is based on a community-wide tree inventory and EAB management plan (see link below) developed by Graf Tree Care, Inc., a professional arborist consulting firm retained by the Board:
* Just under 300 of Mokena’s healthiest parkway trees will be treated annually over the next 7 years to preserve a representative ash tree population in the community.
* Almost 700 parkway ash trees will be removed this year and in each of the next 4 years (5-year phased removal of all untreated ash trees). Residents that have applied treatment to a parkway tree should contact the Village at (708) 479-3900 to discuss alternatives to removal.
* Those trees most severely infested with EAB will be removed first, based on the tree inventory and EAB management plan. Unfortunately, due to the significant number of trees (over 3,400) that will ultimately have to be removed, not all parkway trees appearing to be in poor condition or in failing health will be able to be removed each year.
* For each and every parkway tree removed over the next 5 years, a replacement parkway tree will be planted in its place later in the same year. Replacement trees will meet the Village’s standard specifications (2.5” caliper) for parkway trees, with appropriate species selected for each specific planting site by Mokena’s consulting arborist based on location, soil conditions, tree diversification goals, and other factors.
* There will be no cost to residents for Village-initiated treatment, removal, or replacement of any ash trees located in a public parkway adjacent to their property.
* As in the past, all responsibility for the maintenance, treatment (if desired), removal, and replacement of ash trees located on private lots will rest with individual residents/property owners. (For a listing of arborists available for consultation on and/or treatment of EAB, please click on the "Arborists" link below.)
Because EAB is a community-wide issue impacting (directly or indirectly) everyone that lives in Mokena, the Board is setting aside over $1 million to fund this multi-year program. Monies for the program are coming from cash reserves generated through operating efficiencies and rising sales tax receipts generated by local businesses.
Stay tuned for more in the coming days. In the meantime, should you have questions, please feel free to contact Kirk Zoellner or Lou Tiberi at (708) 479-3900.