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Ash Borer Kills 15 to 20 Oz Park Trees; Here's How To Help

By Mina Bloom | June 10, 2016 10:50am
 Oz Park is losing 15-20 trees infected by the Emerald Ash Borer.
Oz Park is losing 15-20 trees infected by the Emerald Ash Borer.
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Courtesy/Kenneth Dotson

LINCOLN PARK — The city is removing 15 to 20 trees in Oz Park due to the Emerald Ash Borer, but don't worry — there are a number of ways residents can help replace them, according to Ald. Michele Smith (43rd).

• The Chicago Park District's dead tree dedication program: Celebrate a significant person or event in your life by planting a tree in their honor. It comes with a certificate. 

• Openlands grant: Apply for a TreePlanters grant with neighbors through the nonprofit Openlands. The group will help plan a tree planting day, which doubles as a fun community event.

• Plant your own tree: Hire a contractor to fill out a free permit application. Here's a list of trees that are allowed due to utility wires overhead. 

Smith said the Oz Park Advisory Council is committed to replacing the trees.

Anyone who notices a dead tree or tree stump that needs to be removed is encouraged to contact the city or the alderman's office.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic beetle from Asia that was discovered feeding on ash trees in southeastern Michigan in 2002. Experts believe it probably entered the U.S. in packing materials such as wooden crates made of ash.

Responsible for killing over 30 million trees in the United States and Canada, the beetle's larvae feed under the bark and outer sapwood of the ash tree.

According to the city, ash trees make up around 17 percent of Chicago's street tree population or about 85,000 trees. An estimated 300,000 ash trees are on private property.

The bug was first confirmed to be in in Chicago in June of 2008, at 29th and State streets, the city said.

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