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Tree commission offering discount treatment

Public forum on emerald ash borer in the works

DIXON – A proactive approach is needed if the city's ash trees are going to survive the emerald ash borer, Carol Chandler said.

Chandler, chairwoman of the Dixon Tree Commission, said discount treatment is being offered to property owners who think they have an ash tree on their property.

The reduced-cost treatment will be available while the commission takes inventory of ash trees on public property, beginning today, Chandler said.

The cost of the treatment depends on the product used and the size of the tree, and usually must be repeated every couple of years. Chandler said she didn't want to speculate on cost, and said people should call her for more information.

Similar to Dutch elm disease, which killed almost all the elm trees years ago, the ash borer infestation is capable of wiping out the ash tree, Chandler said.

The ash borer has been spotted in four locations north and south of the Rock River, on South Peoria Avenue, on Apple Street, near Raynor Garage Doors and just south of the city.

"It's widespread, and that's only what we know of so far," Chandler said.

The first signs of an infestation is the loss of leaves at the top of the tree, followed by shoots growing around the base of the tree or lower trunk. D-shaped exit holes or bark being stripped off as birds try to reach the borer's larva also are signs of an infestation.

The tree will lose its leaves progressively over the next couple of years, then start losing limbs and die. Young and old trees are the most vulnerable; "adolescent" trees have the most resistance, Chandler said.

"We need your help in preserving all the ash trees that we can," Chandler said, adding that a public forum will be planned for later this month.

For treatment options

Call Carol Chandler, chairwoman of the Dixon Tree Commission, at 815-288-6310 for more information on identifying and treating your ash trees.

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