Chicago and its seven surrounding counties have more than 150 million trees – trees that make our communities healthier, more sustainable and more beautiful. Yet Chicago-area trees are under threat, with one of every five parkway trees likely to soon be destroyed by the emerald ash borer beetle.
The Morton Arboretum’s Community Trees Program has approved $211,000 in matching grants for northern Illinois communities within the Lake Michigan watershed to help restore the tree canopy lost to the emerald ash borer.
A tiny metallic green pest not even the size of a penny, the emerald ash borer hardly seems capable of the destruction it has brought to the area. But millions of significantly weakened and dead ash trees throughout the seven-county Chicago region tell a different story.
By the time symptoms are obvious, borers may have been at work on a tree for months or years and it may be too late to stop them. Treating while an ash tree still seems healthy may forestall an infestation.