TREES & Plants

Grants available to replace trees lost to EAB

Many Illinois communities have suffered devastating losses of ash trees due to the sweeping infestation of the emerald ash borer (EAB). Now, local governments in the historic Lake Michigan watershed can apply for funding to replace trees through The Morton Arboretum’s Community Trees Program.


Grant Application and Guidelines.pdf

Application deadline is June 1, 2014.


The Arboretum is administering $225,000 in matching grants for tree replacement in Illinois from the US Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Program and

Federal grants can partially fund new trees to replace ashes lost to the emerald ash borer.
Forest Health Cooperative Program. The funding only is available to communities that are located partly or entirely within in the historic Lake Michigan watershed, because it is specifically directed toward Great Lakes restoration through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

The goal is to restore the tree canopy with a diverse range of long-lived tree species that will contribute to clean air and clean water, reduce erosion and stormwater runoff, lower energy demands, provide wildlife habitat, and make communities more enjoyable and attractive for residents.

Communities must match the grant funding on a 65 percent/35 percent basis. This match may be in-kind (for example, municipal staff or volunteer labor) or cash.  For example, for a $3,000 project, grant funding of $1,950 would have to be matched by $1,100 from the local government’s own budget.

Illinois municipalities, park districts, counties, and other local governments may apply. The maximum grant amount is $30,000 for communities with populations larger than 26,000, $20,000 for communities between 10,000 and 26,000, and $10,000 for communities with populations under 10,000. Local govenrments that have previously received funding from this program are not eligible.

The new trees must replace trees lost to emerald ash borer. Communities that apply must have or, during the course of the funded project, must develop an Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan. To build a diverse, healthy, resilient community forest, the projects must be structured to avoid overplanting any one species and to provide for proper planting and long-term care of the trees. 

Technical assistance is available in writing the grant, developing an Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan, and outlining a strategy for tree planting.

Grant proposal workshops will be held in March and April for officials of communities who interested in applying.  For dates and locations, as well as questions about the program, contact the grant administrator:

Lydia Scott, Community Trees Program Manager
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532



Communities must be fully or partially within the historic Lake Michigan watershed. Download a .pdf map:

Watershed Map