Deerfield provides funding to ward off oak tree-attacking beetles

 
 
Updated 8/18/2022 10:58 AM

Officially, the Village of Deerfield is not a fan of the beetles.

Tyler Dickinson, Deerfield's assistant director of Public Works and Engineering, told the village board on Aug. 15 about problems village oak trees of all species face by an increased presence of a beetle called the two-lined chestnut borer, which primarily impacts oak trees.

 

A contractor, Advanced Tree Care, is in the process of treating village parkway oaks, under guidance of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, and in tandem with similarly afflicted Northbrook and Lake Forest, to get a handle on the insects.

Dickinson equated the peril posed by the two-lined chestnut borer with that of the emerald ash borer.

"It is a quick death," Dickenson said of an oak tree under attack by the chestnut borer and its larvae. The insect also damages chestnut and beech trees, not as prevalent in Deerfield parkways.

The tree contractor informed the village of the borer problem in July, Dickinson said.

"This insect has been around a long time, but typically it impacts trees that are already impacted, whether it be from drought, from construction damage, from leaf decay, and this is a secondary issue," Dickinson said.

"But, unfortunately, this one seems to be impacting a lot of the trees in the area, so we are working with (Morton Arboretum) to figure out the best path forward and also the best treatment method."

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Dickinson told the board treatments are done through root drenching with pesticide, trunk injection, or both. Deerfield will take the latter tact, Lake Forest the former, and Northbrook will use both methods. A study by the Arboretum will determine the best process and the villages will adjust.

Dickinson said Deerfield Village Manager Kent Street had approved an initial $25,000 to perform the trunk injections on half the village-owned oaks. Working east of Waukegan Road, so far 102 trees have been treated.

In a resolution seeking funding to treat oak trees west of Waukegan Road, Dickinson requested an additional $25,000. He said the cost of the injection for the average-sized tree is $250 every two years.

The resolution passed by a 6-0 vote.

"Preserving our canopy of trees is more and more and more important, so this is a must as far as I'm concerned," said Trustee Mary Oppenheim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

With the resolution approved, this summer's efforts should be completed by the end of August. The next treatment would be scheduled for 2024.

Treatments are only being performed on oak trees on village parkways, but Dickinson said the village is "trying to facilitate the private side as well through a (public relations) campaign."

Street had "strongly" recommended passage of the resolution, and praised Public Works for fast action.

"I applaud our guys for jumping into this," Street said. "You think about the oak tree at the train station, for example. When you lose one of those old guys, it's really hard."

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