Orland Park Public Works Completes Village Wide Stump Removal Process

Orland Park Public Works Completes Village Wide Stump Removal Process
Posted on 09/30/2016

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 7,000 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 3,200 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 to finalize the installation of the remaining 3,200 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.