Emerald Ash Borer Continues Destruction
The emerald ash borer continues to devastate ash trees in Champaign and surrounding areas. The City of Champaign has removed about one third of the ash trees on its property since the insect was first found in the city in 2006.
City Forestry Supervisor Andrew Lamoreux says the city has removed approximately 700 ash trees over the last decade, including just over 300 in the last fiscal year.
Lamoreux says the city will continue removing ash trees as they show signs of distress. He says Champaign has budgeted money specifically for ash tree removal this fiscal year.
“For this coming fiscal year, we have a hundred thousand dollars budgeted for dealing with ash trees," Lamoreux said. "The bulk of that will be spend on removing trees, but that can also be used to help us out with some of the stumps and replanting efforts as well.”
Lamoreux says the city also has an additional $63,000 budgeted for general tree removal that will likely be used mostly for ash trees.
He says the city will plant trees from its approved species list to replace the ash trees, but will try to avoid maple and oak trees, as there are already large numbers of those trees on city property.
Lamoreux recommends that homeowners take down any ash trees that show die off of 30 percent of the tree’s canopy or more. If the tree is on the city right-of-way, any replacement tree must be on the city’s approved tree species list.