City Program Helps Homeowners Replace Ash Trees

The 50/50 Parkway Tree Planting Program will offset some of the costs for Oak Forest residents who want to replace trees removed because of emerald ash borer infestation.

As a way to help undo some of the damage caused by the emerald ash borer, the City of Oak Forest has set up an initiative that will let homeowners offset some of the costs of planting new trees in the parkways in front of their homes.

READ: What's That Pink Dot? City Marks Trees Infested with Emerald Ash Borer for Removal

The new 50/50 Parkway Tree Planting Program works like this, according to a city press release:

  • A homeowner can pick an approved-species of tree—ash trees will not be allowed—and have it planted in the parkway in front of his or her home after getting a free city planting permit.
  • The homeowner then gives the city the paid bill, so he or she can be reimbursed utp to half the cost to a maximum of $150 per tree.

An infestation of emerald ash borers is marked by the metallic-green beetles eating their way under the bark of ash trees, permanently damaging the trees. The beetle, which only attacks ash trees, was first sighted in Oak Forest in December 2009. In that time, the Oak Forest Public Works Department has been responsible for having more than 1,800 ash trees removed from around the city. Crews removed the last infested ash tree in February.

A grant from the Oak Forest Social Services Corp., which helps the city make social improvements, is helping to fund this effort, the release stated, adding that overall funding for the project is limited. Requests will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis, and homeowners wishing to participate need to complete a planting permit from the program, the release continued.

READ: Final Ash Tree Cut Down in Oak Forest

The permit applications, as well as reimbursement request forms, can be found on the city's website. The rules and guidelines for this program also can be found on the site.

The City of Oak Forest also has partnerships with Spring Grove Nursery in Mazon, IL, and iTrees.com to help replenish the tree population, the release stated. For every 10 trees purchased through this agreement, Oak Forest will receive a free tree that will be planted along city streets, the release added.


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Richard Simon April 17, 2013 at 03:05 AM
It has never happened in O.F. or anywhere else around here. I have 50 years of experience dealing with underground construction, and have more knowledge of water and sewer in my little finger than Mr Roper or any of the other posters have in their entire brains. .
Happy Camper April 17, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Tom S. I believe 200 was the number mentioned for the 1st $25,000 grant. 77 was reported as the number to be planted on Ridgelend. I think a second grant of around $20,000 was received and is being used in part for the 50/50 program. How many trees will depend on how many homeowners chose to participate. And NO you do not have to go to Mazon, IL. It is an OPTION being offered and can be ordered on-line with the link in the article. Just remember you need to get your FREE city permit first. It is AMAZING what you can find out by reading ALL the Patch articles and the city web site. Some info was learned by watching the city council meetings on-line or the city cable channel.
phxdr April 17, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Right Rich...it never happens. Did you ever consider it has not happened in Oak Forest because we have not had any recent winds large enough to cause this? A friend of the family is also a carpenter for more than 35 years...it does not make him good at what he does. If it happens around other parts of the country when high winds hit, that means either Oak Forest and surrounding areas have not been hit with hard enough winds to be able to do this or the laws of physics that apply elswhere do not exist in Oak Forest.
Tom S April 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM
To be clear, does the 50/50 program apply to the cost of the tree only? Or does it apply to the tree plus installation?
Richard Simon April 17, 2013 at 04:45 PM
It happened in Georgia but mains there are only required to have 2; of cover. Illinois requires mains to have 5' of cover, big difference. It will never happen here. It is also an old wives tale that roots wrap around the pipe and crush it. Roots infiltrate the sewer pipe through joints and block the sewer. It is vey uncommon to see a broken sewer pipe. Many broken pipes are created by less than honest contractors who break the pipe themselves to make more money.


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