Tinley Park may spend $5M to remove, replace ash trees
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com March 6, 2013 2:54PM
A fully developed Emerald ash borer. | Sun-Times Media file
Updated: March 19, 2013 8:19PM
Tinley Park is considering spending $5 million to remove ash trees infected by the emerald ash borer, and replacing those with trees of different species, village manager Scott Niehaus said Wednesday.
Replacement options were discussed when the village board’s public works committee met Tuesday night. No decisions were made.
The village is considering implementing the plan over several years, or perhaps in as few as two years, he said.
“We need to replace them with the appropriate mix so we can be resistant to something like this in the future,” Niehaus said.
Larvae of the emerald ash borer nibble away at tissue that carries water and nutrients throughout the trees, causing them to essentially die of thirst.
The village recently completed a survey of all the trees on parkways throughout Tinley Park. The survey found about 8,000 ash trees, which represents 30 percent of the village’s stock. That’s too many, Niehaus said.
“Arborists tell us that you don’t want one type of tree to be more than 7 or 8 percent,” he said.
Of those 8,000, fewer than 1,000 are considered to be in excellent shape, and the village will do what it can to save those. The remaining 7,000 or so are in critical, poor or fair condition and must be removed, he said.
The village typically spends $300,000 on tree removal and replacement annually and is considering funding options for the project, he said.