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Oswego Still Fighting Tree-Killing Beetle

May 07, 2014 06:09PM ● By Steven Jack

The emerald ash borer has destroyed millions of trees throughout the Midwest in recent years. Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

Chances are if you have an ash tree somewhere near your house on village-owned property, it's coming down. 

The village of Oswego Public Works is continuing the eradication of ash trees due to the infestation of the emerald ash borer in parts of the Midwest. The village will remove about 500 trees this year, replacing them with about 300 more of many varieties, said Jennifer Hughes, Public Works Director.

Which ash trees are removed and when depends on the amount of damage its received.

"The trees that are a potential hazard to residents or property are removed first," Hughes said. "... Unfortunately there is far more for us to do than we have the money for right now. If we're behind 200 trees from last year and another 200 this year, we've still got probably two more years of this."

During this year's budget process, trustees had discussed cutting back the replacement program. However, funds ultimately were left intact. The village will spend about $80,000 on removal this year and about $122,000 for replacement trees. 

Not every tree that's removed will be replaced, Hughes said. 

"Some of these trees should have never been planted where they were in the first place," she said.

As for ash trees on private property, Hughes said some residents have chosen to treat the trees. While the village has no such plans for those on the public right-of-way, treating an ash tree can stave off the disease. Find more about treatment options here.

"Some professionals will say (treatment) is delaying the inevitable," Hughes said. "... We would just encourage residents that are treating their trees to notify the village."