Daily Herald
Bloomingdale needs residents' help in fighting ash borer
By Elisabeth Mistretta | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/2/2010 9:04 AM

Bloomingdale officials are asking residents to be proactive in helping stop emerald ash borer infestation in village trees.

Despite three years of efforts to avoid the pest - deadly to ash trees - workers found infestation in late February on trees along Springfield Drive, between Army Trail Road and Butterfield Drive. Ash trees comprise about 25 percent of Bloomingdale's village-owned tree population of about 2,300.

But that doesn't include any ash trees on private property outside homes, condos and businesses. So village officials are trying to educate residents and business owners on how to spot the pest. And they are making forestry workers available to confirm suspected infestations.

"There is no fully effective insecticidal treatment that has proved to thwart this imminent infestation," said Michael Marchi, director of village services.

That is why Bloomingdale wants people with ash trees on their property to inspect for symptoms that include: dying leaves; D-shaped exit holes; shoots sprouting from the tree's trunk; S-shaped larval collections under the bark; and woodpecker damage, since the birds are attracted to the larvae.

Damage tends to start at the top and then the borers work their way down, making it tougher to spot, Marchi said. They can live in an ash for three to five years before signs of infestation appear.

In previous years, the borer was found in Addison, unincorporated Bloomingdale Township and unincorporated Glendale Heights.

In addition, the village is asking residents or business owners who find adult or larval forms of the borer to freeze the insect and bring it to Bloomingdale Public Works, 305 Glen Ellyn Road, or call (630) 671-5800.

Ultimately, Bloomingdale is asking people who find evidence of the pest on their property to have the tree removed at their own expense. Village officials say to get several quotes and make sure the contractor has a compliance certification from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

"They will know how to properly handle wood product from the quarantined area and prevent further spread of the ash borer," Marchi said.

Residents or business owners who live on property larger than one acre will also need a village permit to remove trees. The permit is free, but village officials hope anyone who removes an infested tree will notify them.

"It will help us keep tabs and give us a better idea of where people are finding it in town," Marchi said.