Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer is a highly destructive pest with a history of destroying the vast majority of ash trees in the areas it reaches. It already has killed more than 20 million trees in the Midwest. In April 2010, the City of Wheaton received official confirmation from the Illinois Department of Agriculture that the emerald ash borer was located in several trees in northeast Wheaton. Read more about the discovery here.
While the emerald ash borer was not confirmed in Wheaton until 2010, the City's Forestry Division has been taking steps to address the emerald ash borer for several years.
First, the Forestry Division performed an inventory of the nearly 6,500 ash trees on city parkways and classified 764 to be in fair to poor condition. Because ailing trees succumb to the emerald ash borer more quickly than healthy trees, in 2008 the City began implementing an ash tree reduction program. The program is designed to reduce the number of ash trees in City parkways and specifically targets ailing trees for removal. Since 2008, the Forestry Division has been removing approximately 200 parkway ash trees in fair to poor condition per year. Trees found to be infested with the emerald ash borer will be removed before other ailing ash trees.
Residents whose parkway ash trees are removed through the Forestry Division's program or due to infestation can participate in the Shared Cost Tree Replacement Program.
For more information, watch the Forestry Division video about the emerald ash borer threat: