In May, 2013, the Mokena Village Board implemented 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 involves the treatment or removal of almost 3,700 public/parkway ash trees over multiple years.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
Following are key elements of the program, which is based on a community-wide tree inventory and EAB management plan (see links 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 are being treated annually to preserve a representative ash tree population in the community.
* Over 3,400 parkway ash trees are being removed through the end of 2016 (multi-year phased removal of all untreated ash trees). Residents having applied treatment to a parkway tree (personally or through a qualified contractor) are encouraged to fill out and return an "EAB treatment form" (see link below) to the Village at their earliest possible convenience to avoid the potential for future removal.
* Those trees most severely infested with EAB are being removed first, based on the tree inventory and EAB management plan. Unfortunately, due to the significant number of trees (over 3,400) that 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 parkway trees removed, replacement parkway trees will be planted in their place within a year of their removal. Replacement trees will meet the Village’s standard specifications for parkway trees, with appropriate species selected for each specific planting site by Mokena’s consulting arborist based on lighting, soil conditions, tree diversification goals, and other factors.
* There is 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 rests 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.)
EAB Management Plan (Updated November, 2013)
Because EAB is a community-wide issue impacting (directly or indirectly) everyone that lives in Mokena, the Board set aside $1.69 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.
Should you have questions regarding the program, please contact Kirk Zoellner at (708) 479-3900.
Mokena Messenger article - "Closer to Recovery"
Daily Southtown article - "Replacement trees adding new look in Southland neighborhoods"
Tips for New Trees
Resident tree removal/replacement letter
EAB treatment form
EAB Management Plan