Chicago fights to save trees from Emerald Ash Borer - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago fights to save trees from Emerald Ash Borer

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The city of Chicago is launching a new campaign to fight the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer insect that is killing thousands of trees.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic beetle native to Asia that was discovered in southeastern Michigan in 2002. Experts say the insect likes sunshine and to start at the top of the Ash tree. They tend to eat the leaves and then descend down. Ash trees are easily identified by their leaves, which are across from each other, sometimes with seven on a branch.

The city is giving shots to hundreds of Chicago's trees to kill the beetle larvae inside. To carry the process out, the city has employed a workforce to inoculate the trees. That crew will spend the summer trying to knock out the insect before they cause damage to city trees.

"The City of Chicago is committed to the health of the more than 500,000 parkway trees that not only beautify our neighborhoods, but offer countless environmental benefits," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "The continued inoculation of our Ash trees is a common sense investment to protect and maintain these valuable community assets."

To inoculate the trees, crews will drill a few holes at the base of the tree, insert a plug and then use an air-powered injector to get a serum inside. That serum kills bugs and eggs for up to three years.

Ash trees account for 16 percent of the city's canopy.

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