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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