In an effort to sustain Elgin’s ash tree population, The City has partnered with Valent Professional Products to participate in the Legacy Tree Project.
The Legacy Tree Project is a new Valent initiative that seeks to protect America’s native trees from invasive pest populations by providing communities with viable management solutions.
Elgin was one of six Chicago-area communities chosen through a nomination process to have Valent provide treatment to 200 of its highest profile municipal ash trees over the next five years. Valent will also fund the cost of the labor through Davey Tree for a total project cost of $20,000.
Ash trees often become a casualty to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive pest that has killed millions of ash trees in more than 13 states across the Midwest and Eastern United States. Ash trees infective with EAB often die within one to four years after showing infestation symptoms.
“Elgin has nearly 5,500 ash trees which are about 14% of its total tree population,” said Parks Superintendent Jim Bell. “This partnership will help Elgin maintain those trees over the next five years.”
That maintenance will provide the city with more options in managing the ash tree population.
“Under this program, we can easily stagger the City’s tree replacement program,” said Bell. “It costs much less to treat a tree than it does to remove and replant trees.”
Valent will be treating the trees with a product that has been proven effective against EAB in university research trials. It has also undergone a rigorous review by the Environmental Protection Agency and is one of only three insecticides registered for EAB.
Ash trees typically do not show signs of EAB damage for one to four years after the initial attack but can then decline very rapidly. The Valent product promises to protect trees when applied as a soil injection or basal truck spray.
The other Chicago area communities participating in the Legacy Tree Project are Naperville, Lake Forest, St. Charles, Glen Ellyn and Glenview.