Ash Tree Removal / Replacement Program

Ash Tree Removal / Replacement Program (ATRRP)
Posted on 09/27/2016
Ash Tree Removal / Replacement Program (ATRRP)Public Works Department Completes Village Wide Stump Removal Process and Installs Remaining 3,200 Trees

The Village of Orland Park Public Works Department recently completed its village wide stump removal process, part of its Ash Tree Removal/Replacement Program.

Approximately 7000 parkway trees have been removed in Orland Park because of the emerald ash borer.

“I read that since 2002, the emerald ash borer has killed more than 250 million ash trees nationwide,” said Trustee Mike Carroll, chair of the village’s Public Works Committee. “Orland Park’s ash tree removal and replacement program has been a huge undertaking for the village.”

The emerald ash borer was first discovered in southeastern Michigan in the summer of 2002. The larvae feed in the inner bark of ash trees, stopping the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Now responsible for destroying millions of trees in North America, the emerald ash borer was first discovered in northern Illinois in 2006.

“Public Works staff completed a street by street review of the 220 miles of village streets, searching for and removing any remaining tree stumps. Despite our best efforts a few may remain,” said Director of Public Works John Ingram. “Residents with stumps remaining after affected ash trees have been removed should contact the Public Works Department at 708/403-6350.”

Orland Park anticipates planting 3200 trees by the end of the 2016 planting season, replacing the trees that had to be destroyed. At its September 6 meeting, the Orland Park Village Board approved hiring a second contractor to help complete the planting process by the end of the season. In many cases, the same number of trees cannot be replaced as was removed because of underground infrastructure, placement distance from stumps that have been ground below the surface, the size of the parkway and other concerns.

“On behalf of the village board, I thank our residents for being so cooperative and patient with our staff and the contractors as we work our way through this massive project,” Carroll added.

The Public Works Department has diversified its replacement tree inventory both to add visual interest and to reduce the likelihood of losing a large population of trees because of a specific disease.

“The emerald ash borer has shown the inherent drawback in using one predominant tree species for parkway planting,” Ingram said. “With the completion of the stump removals, our focus will now shift to tree replacement. With the help of two contracted landscaping companies, our goal is finalize the installation of the remaining 3200 trees by December. The replacement trees will be a diverse group of more than 12 different species mixed throughout neighborhoods.”

The Public Works Department cautions that newly installed trees may look somewhat distressed when they are planted. All trees have a one year warranty from the date of planting.

“Residents shouldn’t worry,” Ingram said. “The trees are healthy and will go dormant during the cold weather and will leaf out next spring.”

Each tree is given an initial watering when planted. Subsequent watering is required two to three times per week with two to three gallons of water each time or less than one minute from a garden hose. Those with sprinkler systems should remember that over watering can occur if trees are watered by sprinklers and a separate hose.

Further information about the village’s Emerald Ash Borer Tree Replacement Program is available with the Public Works Department at 708/403-6350.

Ash Tree Removal and Replacement Program - Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Will the village remove my ash tree?
    If the ash tree is located within the village’s right-of-way (parkway), the village will remove the ash tree. Ash trees on private property are the property owner's responsibility.

  2. When will my ash tree(s) be removed?
    A map [ATRRP Map] has been created to assist the village in coordinating the removal of over 8,085 parkway ash trees. All ash trees in the Village of Orland Park’s parkway will be removed by the end of 2015. This three year program (2013, 2014, and 2015) is aggressive, but we ask that residents be patient. Removals are currently being completed in sub areas 11 and 12. Staff arborists are constantly evaluating ash tree conditions to determine where contractors will focus next in our village-wide removal and replacement process.

  3. What if my neighborhood is scheduled next year and I have a dead tree in my parkway that, in my opinion, can’t wait another 6 months?
    While we certainly respect your opinion, we have skilled certified arborist on staff that we must rely on to gauge a tree’s vitality, even when the tree looks dead. Also, to handle isolated ash tree requests, we have a single “4-man crew” that is focused on removing “priority trees” or trees that pose an immediate risk to persons or property. A staff arborist will evaluate your tree and determine the condition of the tree as to whether it should be scheduled for immediate removal.

  4. Will the Village reimburse me for removing and planting my own tree?
    The Village of Orland Park has assumed the entire cost for tree removal, stump removal, surface restoration and the replanting of a new tree as a packaged program. The program does not allow for reimbursements for trees removed or replaced by residents.

  5. My trees were removed some time ago. When will the stump be removed and when will the restoration occur?
    Please be patient. We hope to have our stump removals and restorations caught up by this summer 2015. Feel free to contact the Public Works Department to report outdated stump removals and restoration.

  6. When will the new tree(s) be planted?
    New trees can only be planted during the spring and fall of each year. We will plant as many trees during these seasons as the weather permits. Trees that are not planted during the spring will be planted as a priority during the fall.

  7. How many trees will be planted in my parkway?
    The intent of the ash tree replacement program is to replace trees one-for-one. This means that if three (3) trees are removed from a certain area, and new trees do not negatively impact, parkway infrastructure, line of sight, or above ground village facilities (hydrants and existing trees); we will replant three (3) trees.

  8. Someone marked the parkway area where my new trees are to be installed. The new trees will be off-centered and may change the look of my home.
    While we certainly are sensitive to the home’s aesthetics, replacement trees have some limited parameters. The remaining root system of the previous tree may extend 10 to 20 feet from the base of the removed tree making it impossible to plant the new tree in that root area. Other considerations taken into account are line-of-sight issues and placement to close to fire hydrants. The Public Works staff will make every effort to evenly space replacement trees, but in many cases, we are limited where the trees can be planted.

  9. How is it decided what tree type species is planted in the parkway? Can I select the tree that is planted?
    To effectively minimize any future “single-specie” catastrophes like the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Dutch Elm, the village is replacing its ash tree inventory with a diverse variety (17 different species) of 3-inch diameter trees including October Glory Maple, Accolade Elm, Crimson King Norway Maple, Shademaster Honey Locust, Pacific Sunset Maple and Littleleaf Linden to name a few.

  10. I’m treating my tree. Will the Village remove my parkway tree that is being treated?
    The Village will not remove trees that we know are being treated. To ensure that your treated trees are not mistakenly removed, contact the Village of Orland Park Public Works Department at 708-403-6350 to have your treated tree(s) marked with aluminum “treated tree tag” at no cost to the resident.

  11. Do I need to do anything to have my parkway ash tree removed?
    No. The tree removal process is quite basic. We only ask that all landscape material bordering or surrounding the parkway ash trees be removed prior to the stump removal. If you are unable to move the landscape border, we will do our best to remove and stack the materials on your property for reuse or disposal.

  12. I’m not interested in having a replacement tree planted in the parkway after the ash tree is removed. Do I have to accept and take care of a new tree?
    Parkway trees have a number of benefits to the neighborhood and to the overall environment. It is important for the Village to maintain a healthy level of trees in our parkways. Please contact the Public Works Department at 708-403-6350 with requests of this nature.