The Morton Arboretum Supports Senate Efforts To Protect Trees
Tree Experts Support Call For Increased Funding To Fight Pests; Letter To Be Sent Today
LISLE, IL (April 2, 2007) – The Morton Arboretum is supporting a request for increased federal funding to fight pests that threaten this country’s urban forests.
A bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators has signed a letter requesting $45 million to fight Emerald ash borer, a highly-destructive beetle that has already killed approximately 20-million trees in the United States and will cause municipalities, private property owners, the nursery industry, and others to lose billions of dollars. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin drafted and championed the letter, which is expected to be presented today to the chairman and ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
The Arboretum supports the call for increased funding, and urges Congress and The White House to approve the added money.
“The increased funding would provide an important tool in the battle against this devastating invasive,” said Clement W. Hamilton, Ph.D., Arboretum Vice President of Programs and Director of Research. “Emerald ash borer has the potential to wreak havoc throughout Illinois, and especially in Chicago, where 20-percent of the street trees are ash,” Hamilton said.
Emerald ash borer was first discovered in Illinois by a Kane County homeowner last June. Since then, additional infestations were confirmed in Kane and Cook Counties.
The letter also requests money to fight other pests and diseases: $30 million for Asian Longhorned Beetle; $10 million for Sudden Oak Death; and $3.6 million for Sirex Woodwasp. These enhanced funding levels have been endorsed by The Nature Conservancy, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the Society of American Foresters, and others, the letter said.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,057 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever is earlier, Central Time. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630-968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,