Bolingbrook has proven not to be immune to the plight of the emerald ash borer.
During last week’s State of the Village address, Mayor Roger Claar told the nearly 700 people in attendance the insects made their way into trees on the outskirts of Bolingbrook in 2011.
The village has about 40,000 ash trees, with 13,000 in the public right-of-ways, Claar said.
“When you see (the ash borers), you have to take the tree down,” he said. “It’s a serious problem. If it continues (to spread), the cost of cutting those trees will be horrendous.”
According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the emerald ash borer is a small, metallic green pest whose larvae feeds under the bark of ash trees, cutting off nutrient flow essential for a healthy tree. It has been found in several states from the east coast to the midwest, and in June 2006 it was discovered in a residential neighborhood in Kane County.
Michael Drey, Bolingbrook’s director of public works, said village officials have already taken a few trees down.
“It’s not what you would call an epidemic yet,” he said. “It certainly is as you come from Ohio and Michigan and other cities.”
Residents can call the village to detect and diagnose infestations of the ash borer.
“The village forester is certainly willing to look at their trees,” Drey said.
In the meantime, Claar is urging residents not to move firewood, which officials said causes the spread of the ash borer.
“Burn it, don’t carry it around,” he said. “The wood will transport these things.”