Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

EAB in Western Springs

The Village has been monitoring for the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in the Village for the past several years, since its first reported occurrence in Cook County. In 2010 the bug was found in neighboring communities within a five mile radius of Western Springs. In August of 2011 the bug was found in two traps setup across the community and was identified by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
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During the winter of 2011 the Village conducted an ash inventory to determine the number and condition of publicly owned ash trees within the Village. The Village has 1,354 ash trees of varying ages and conditions which make up approximately 16% of the Village’s entire tree stock. The most densely populated areas of ash trees are located in the Old Town and Field Park subdivisions.

A map of the ash tree distribution in Western Springs can be located at the bottom of this page in the "Maps and Information" section.

Chemical Treatment

The 2011 ash tree inventory outlined the 591 healthiest ash trees on public property. In 2012 the Village performed a biannual chemical treatment plan on 320 of the healthiest ash trees. In 2013, the Village treated 264 healthy ash trees. The chemical treatment being performed is a tree injection called Tree-age. Tree-age treatment requires an application every two years and the Village has begun the process of reducing the annual treatment to phase in new parkway tree replacements. 

The goal of any chemical treatment will not be to indefinitely prolong the life of the tree, but to prolong the health of the tree as it relates to the overall neighborhood aesthetic. Ash trees will continue to be removed on an annual basis and the treatment will prevent largely dense areas of ash trees from being removed at the same time.

Tree Removals

The Village has an annual tree removal budget that addresses the removal for all parkway trees throughout the community. Utilizing the information from its recent tree inventory the Village will identify the most critical trees that need removal.

The Village will not clear cut any neighborhoods, but will be required to remove trees that have been identified as having EAB and are in poor condition as rated by the inventory or Village Forester. Trees that have been removed will be replaced with alternates as the budget and surrounding conditions allow, but are not guaranteed to be replaced.

What Can Residents Do?

Public Trees
If residents believe that a particular public tree is infested with EAB, the Village asks that it be notified. The Village can provide residents with information about the tree in question and the Village Forester can visually inspect it if necessary.

Private Trees
If residents have a concern about the health of their private trees, the Village recommends that they contact a certified arborist or forester for consultation. The Village cannot recommend to residents whether they should use chemical treatments on their trees or not, but it has provided information in the EAB Informational Brochure below about products that are currently available. The Village will not provide monetary assistance to residents for the treatment or removal of private trees.

The Village is currently in the process of developing an ordinance similar to the one used for the removal of trees affected with Dutch Elm Disease on private property. This ordinance would require residents who have a dead or hazardous tree to remove the tree from their property to avoid the harboring and further promoting of the Emerald Ash Borer.

If residents intend to treat their own parkway trees, the Village asks that it be notified so it can keep a record of treated trees .

Additional Information

EAB Informational Brochure