A swarm of tiny green beetles is killing most of the ash trees in North America. A recent invader from China, the emerald ash borer has no predators here. However, there is a vaccine that protects the trees.
Most cities are chopping down their ash trees. This is expensive. Working with the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation, we discovered that vaccines, administered carefully at the right time, can protect most ash trees. With strong encouragement from Councilman McElroy, the City Council approved funding to inoculate approximately 14,000 ash trees on City-owned property. Joe McElroy was interviewed extensively for an article about emerald ash borer in the Municipal, a magazine for city professionals.
Some of the ash trees were too sick to save and had to be removed, but our “batting average” is at least 90 percent. That’s thousands of trees protected, and millions of dollars saved in removal and replacement costs.
“Emerald Ash Borer: We’re not out of the woods yet.” The Municipal, November, 2012. McElroy describes Naperville’s approach as similar to surgeons in a battlefield.
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