Save Your Ash
Preserve your community's tree canopy TODAY by treating your Ash Trees against Emerald Ash Borer
Fall 2020 Treatment Window Has Concluded: Thank you all for your support and hard work to protect our urban canopy this fall. Due to early leaf drop, the cutoff for treatment is in early October. If you have not already surveyed trees, collected donations, and made arrangements with a vendor, it is likely too late to treat trees in your area this year.
NRC will continue this campaign over the winter and target another round of treatments in Spring 2021, after trees have leafed out. We are also working with elected officials and nonprofit partners to consider all options for additional resources and policy change regarding sensible management of our urban forest.
Why Should we Save Ash Trees?
A full, healthy and mature tree canopy improves our urban environment and sustains our physical and mental health. Trees reduce flooding and erosion, help conserve energy through decreased need for air conditioning, increase business income on commercial streets, filter odors and polluting gases, provide habitat for native animals and insects, beautify residential blocks and enhance quality of life by reducing stress and enhancing healing.
When the city of Chicago began inoculations in 2013 there were 94,000 Ash trees on Chicago’s parkways. Today, only 52,000 remain. If left untreated, we will continue to see devastating loss to our urban canopy that will take decades, and millions of dollars in public money to replace. A combination of treatment for the largest and oldest trees and selective removal of smaller and infected trees is a more cost-effective and sustainable solution that will preserve the integrity of the canopy over a longer period of time.
Active Campaigns - Contact Information
Civic Association Map - Check here to see if you are within the area of one of these neighborhood groups that is raising awareness and funds to treat ash trees.
Horner Park Neighbors (HPN) - email@example.com
The Residents of Irving Park (TRIP) - firstname.lastname@example.org
People of East Albany Park (PEAP) - PeapBlockClub@gmail.com
Albany Park Neighbors (APN) - email@example.com
Hollywood North Park Community Association (HNPCA) - firstname.lastname@example.org
North Mayfair Improvement Association (NMIA) - email@example.com
Heart of Lincoln Square Neighbors Association (HOLS) - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to donate to any of these groups' campaigns, North River Commission can help! See our donation page here, and specify the civic association you want to give to.
Problem: Ash trees make up a significant portion of our City's urban forest, but they are under constant threat from a deadly pest, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Fortunately, there is an affordable and effective treatment that provides up to three years of protection against EAB.
After years of effectively and safely treating Ash trees in this way, the City of Chicago decided to stop treating parkway (street) Ash trees against EAB, which eventually causes all trees it infects to die. Instead, the City will focus on removing dead and infected Ash and replacing them with other species. **
If your street and neighborhood have Ash trees, ALL those trees will likely die in a few years unless they are treated. Treatment is effective, safe, and now more affordable and available.
Solution: North River Commission has partnered with a treatment supplier and several approved vendors to provide an affordable opportunity for residents, block clubs, and civic organizations to treat parkway Ash trees in their community.
Because treatment extends the life of Ash trees, the NRC Save Your Ash program will preserve the integrity of the local tree canopy in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. Chicago's parkway trees will be selectively removed and replaced without cutting down swaths of trees that leave parkways bare.
Treatment is being offered at an average 30% reduction over normal cost, and is effective for up to three years. Contact approved vendors below for a quote.
How Does This Work?
Without an active City of Chicago program to protect Ash trees, it is necessary for communities to bear the expense of treating trees on their own
1) IDENTIFY Ash Trees
* You should be able to easily identify Ash trees by the metal tags that the City of Chicago affixed to the street side of Ash trees when they were previously treated for Emerald Ash Borer (click link or see photo below) or by the ribbon and green “Warning” card tied around an Ash tree.
2) TALK with your Neighbors
• Work with your neighbors, your block club, local civic organization or any other local group to spread awareness of the Ash treatment program. You or your group may want to adopt one or more trees.
• Earlier in 2020 the Ravenswood Manor Improvement Association organized residents, raised money and treated almost 100 trees.
Certified arborists are the only people allowed to administer injections to kill the Emerald Ash Borer.
3) Treatment OPTIONS
* Specify an Ash tree(s) for treatment
Call one of the partner companies listed below, mention “Chicago EAB” to receive the discounted treatment price and arrange for an arborist to treat your Ash tree(s). You will pay the company directly. (Please email Carson at email@example.com or call him at 312-860-2144 with the tree address(s) so we can maintain an inventory of treated trees.)
The vendor you choose will arrange for necessary permits, come out to assess the health of your tree(s) and treat each eligible tree.
• You identify your neighborhood civic association and donate to the NRC Ash tree treatment fund. If you are interested in a particular tree(s), specify its address. (Unsure if you have a civic organization in your area? See the map here.)
Once we have addresses of multiple trees, NRC or your community association will contact a treatment company with the addresses of Ash trees in your neighborhood. This way, more than one tree can be treated when the company comes to our area.
4) MAKE a Tax Deductible Donation
- Use NRC’s donation page to direct your contribution http://northrivercommission.z2systems.com
- NRC will regularly notify your organization about total monies raised.
Chicago EAB Partner Vendors
Contact for treatment at reduced rates when you mention "Chicago EAB"
Should All Ash Trees be Treated?
Not necessarily. Because our urban tree canopy is in danger from EAB, we need a triage approach to the crisis. First, treat the healthiest and largest Ash trees; second, treat infested Ash trees that arborists deem most likely to survive with inoculation.
The professional arborists listed above will assess your trees and ensure they are healthy enough to benefit from treatment. It should be noted that even after a tree is treated, City of Chicago Bureau of Forestry has the authority to cut it down.
What if our Community Can't Afford Treatment?
Contact North River Commission for assistance with organizing, fundraising, and all other concerns.
Email Carson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 312-860-2144 to discuss further.
While the City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Bureau of Forestry does not have a budget or staff allocated to treating Ash trees, it is good to remind your elected officials that protecting your neighborhood's canopy is important to you!
What is Used to Treat the Trees? Can I be Confident with this Solution?
The treatment product used is TREE-age, provided by Arborjet, the developer of this protocol against EAB.
This treatment is an environmentally responsible approach to saving our Ash trees. Treatment is injected directly into the tree and sealed behind a special plug, targeting the Emerald Ash Borer larvae inside, but protecting the environment at the same time. It remains in the tree for several years. There is nothing placed in the soil or air.
The treatment that is used by the partner tree care vendors listed on this page is the exact same product which was used by the City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Bureau of Forestry for 10 years, concluding with the program ending in 2019. It has been used to save millions of ash trees across the country.
For further discussion on the effectiveness and environmental safety of this treatment chemistry see the fact sheet below from researchers at Ohio State, Michigan State University, Purdue University, and Colorado State University.
Have Questions? Need Support? Contact NRC below for more information, resources, and assistance to treat ash trees in your neighborhood.
Urban Canopy and EAB Resources
For information about managing EAB, see this slideshow discussing treatment from Arborjet.
For more information about EAB and the benefits of a healthy urban canopy, visit
- Emerald Ash Borer Information Network
- Urban Canopy Works
- Chicago Region Trees Initiative
- WTTW: The Ash Tree’s Last Stand, And Why It Matters
*** Please note that the above organizations do not sponsor, endorse, or partner on this program. They are sources of information about our region's trees and urban forestry management.
Arborjet is a provider of environmentally responsible plant health care products, and a leader in trunk-injection treatment of trees that has saved millions of trees over the last 20 years.
Arborjet was initially developed by arborists for arborists in order to effectively manage and control the many exotic and native insects, pests, and diseases threatening our natural and urban forests. Founded in 2000 by Peter M. Wild, owner of Boston Tree Preservation in Woburn, MA, Arborjet was established out of Peter’s intent of finding a way to control Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, saving thousands of trees since the company’s inception. Today, as the leading provider of tree care solutions, that same passion for innovation and service drives Arborjet to expand the types of technology created and industries served, changing the face of plant health care.