Removal of ash trees nears finish in Hills

40 specimens found infested by ash borer

By Kelly White

A tree-removal project that began last month in Palos Hills should be completed within a week, according to a city alderman.

The Palos Hills Public Works Department has since December been removing ash trees in an effort to combat the spread of the tree-killing emerald ash borer. The city had determined 40 trees were infested with the invasive beetle, which is native to Asia and has spread to several states since first being reported in Michigan in 2002.

"Within the next week or two, tree removal work will be completed for this season and work efforts will shift to parkway tree trimming," Palos Hills Alderman Frank Williams (5th Ward) said at the City Council's committee meeting Jan. 17.

The Public Works Department will also remove buckthorn, a thorny shrub or small tree that bears dark blue berries. Buckthorn is so-named because of a woody spine on the end of each twig in many species. Buckthorn, weeds, cattails and scrub trees have been removed from along Horseman's Horse Trail between 90th Avenue to Kean Avenue, Maple Crest Retention Pond, and the east end of Pleasure Lake, among other areas in town.