Emerald ash borer beetle. U.S. Forestry Service photo.The Chicago Tribune reports the Emerald Ash Borer, last seen in Kane County, has been spotted in Wilmette, around the Highcrest Middle School at 569 Hunter Road, less than a half mile from the border of northwest Evanston.

Sixteen trees reportedly are infected in a five-block area around the school.

Evanston Parks Director Douglas Gaynor says ash trees at risk from the borer make up about 12 percent of the trees on public property in Evanston. The corresponding number for Wilmette is a bit higher — at 15 percent.

Evanston stopped planting ash trees on public property in 1999 when it adopted a policy to diversify its tree stock by stopping the planting of any tree that makes up over 10 percent of the overall population.

The city’s forestry staff has urged Evanston residents not to plant new ash trees on their property or purchase any firewood containing ash wood until further notice.

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Evanston prepares to fight ash borer

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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