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Ash borer infestation spreads

More of Evanston’s ash trees are falling victim to the emerald ash borer.

City forestry chief Paul D’Augustino says all 73 of the remaining ash trees at Lovelance Park on Gross Point Road are showing signs of investation and will have to be removed soon.

D’Augustino told aldermen Monday that the pest has also damaged 55 other trees on public parkways and 17 on private property. In addition crews have identified 21 trees on public property that aren’t affected by the borer but need to be removed because they pose a hazard.

He says city forestry crews have now inspected almost all the trees in the area west of Green Bay Road and north of Central Street and are working their way further east and then will head south. The inspections started in the northwest corner of the city because that’s where the infestation was first discovered.

So far he says they’ve found no infected trees south of Central Street except for two on Harrison Street west of Lawndale Avenue.

He said all residents with affected trees will by notified by the city within the next few days about the state requirement to remove them as soon as possible.

The city also plans to notify residents around Lovelace Park of the plan to remove the trees, and D’Augustino said the city is working on a plan to plant replacement trees in the park.

He said winter is a good time for forestry crews to find the infected trees. "Woodpeckers find them for us," he said, "They almost debark the trees trying to get at the insects."

The goal is to have the infected trees removed before late spring when the bugs start moving from tree to tree.

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