Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Press Release

Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Oakwood Subdivision
Village and IDA Take Action to Prevent Spread of Threat & Encourage Public Support
Village of Westmont
Date Issued: October 12, 2010

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA) has confirmed the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been located in the Village of Westmont. One single adult EAB was discovered in a trap placed in a tree within the Oakwood Subdivision. Through further inspection, an infestation was discovered along nearby in a few declining ash trees.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. It is a destructive pest that feasts on ash trees. The larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. While the beetle does not pose any direct risk to public health, it does threaten the tree population. Since the EAB was first confirmed in the Midwest in the summer of 2002, more than 26 million ash trees have died.

"Westmont staff will promptly respond to all suspected sightings of the Emerald Ash Borer," said Stephen May, Director of the Westmont Public Works Department. "We had previously received calls from residents to report suspected cases of the beetle, but there was no confirmed evidence until now."

"We have been keeping up on this issue since its discovery in Michigan in 2002," said Village Forster Jonathan Yeater, who is working with the Village to create an effective response. Originally, all ash trees within a half mile radius of a confirmed infestation were removed in an effort to eliminate the pest, but that method has not been effective. New strategies are currently being developed and will be implemented this winter.

Residents are encouraged to visit the IDA EAB website or the Illinois Arborist Association website to view photographs of the insect and learn more about the EAB’s life cycle. The ’Don’t Move Firewood’ website is also a good resource.

Westmont currently has over 2000 ash trees on its parkways, which makes up more than 15 percent of its entire tree population. Additionally, there are thousands of ash trees on private property throughout the Village. Ash trees were widely planted in the Village and in much of northeast Illinois because they are fairly inexpensive and generally quite tolerant of soils and climate in this area.

If residents have additional EAB questions, please contact the Village of Westmont Street Division at 630-981-6270 or email Jon Yeater.

Steps residents can take to protect their tree from Emerald Ash Borer

The Village of Westmont Street Division believes that public education about Emerald Ash Borer offers the best hope for slowing its spread throughout the region. It is asking property owners to assist in the following: MONITOR AND REPORT EAB - Learn about EAB, check your ash trees for the pest and call us 630-981-6270 if you believe you have found either the insect or an infested ash tree. The Village of Westmont Street Division will respond promptly to all such calls.

Follow Directives From IDA - Check for periodic updates at these websites: City of Westmont website, Illinois Department of Agriculture website and Emerald Ash Borer Information Network website.

Do Not Move or Purchase Ash Wood - Use only local firewood (even when traveling) and burn the wood on site. Leave firewood behind when you move on. Most importantly, do not bring firewood or logs from other states, or any areas that may become quarantined in Illinois, to Westmont. Do not purchase any firewood containing ash wood until further notice.

Care for Ash Trees - Call the Village of Westmont Street Division if a public ash tree seems sick or needs maintenance. Care for private trees routinely using ISA-certified arborists when hiring tree care companies.

Plant for Diversity - Do not plant ash trees. Plant underutilized tree species instead.

The Village of Westmont appreciates your cooperation regarding this matter.