Save Your Ash
Preserve Your Community's Tree Canopy TODAY by Treating Your Ash Trees Against Emerald Ash Borer
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). However, there is an affordable and effective treatment that provides up to four years of inoculation against EAB. In 2019, after years of effectively and safely treating Ash trees in this way, the City of Chicago decided to no longer treat parkway (street) Ash trees against infection from EAB, which eventually causes all trees it infects to die.
If your street and neighborhood have Ash trees, those trees will ALL 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 a 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.
This program will preserve the integrity of the local tree canopy in the short term and allow for longer term solutions, include diversification through selective removal and replacement, to progress in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.
Treatment is being offered at an average 30% reduction over normal cost, and is effective for up to four years. Contact approved vendors below for a quote.
How Does This Work?
- Organize your Neighbors and Raise Funds
- 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.
- Work with your neighbors, your block club, local civic organization, or any other organized local group to spread awareness of the program and create buy-in.
- North River Commission staff and volunteers are available help to provide language, materials, and information for you.
- Survey and Tag Ash Trees in your Area
- You should be able to easily identify Ash trees by the metal tags that the City of Chicago previously used to mark when trees had been treated
- Place a ribbon and informational card, provided at no cost by NRC that lets neighbors know that this tree is under threat of dying, and how they can follow up with you or your group for group treatment
- Earlier in 2020, the Ravenswood Manor Improvement Association were able to organize and tag nearly 100 trees, getting neighbors to contribute to the cost of treatment
- Contact Partner Vendors for a Reduced-Cost Treatment
- Once you have a group of trees identified, and a budget for treatment, reach out to one of the four vendors listed here and let them know how many trees you have and where they are located
- Get a quote for a treatment program to protect against EAB, and be sure to mention the "Chicago EAB" program for a reduced rate!
- Arrange for Treatment of your Trees ASAP
- The vendor you choose will arrange for any necessary permits, come out to assess the health of your trees, and treat each eligible tree in a handful of minutes
- It is important that Ash trees are treated while they have leaves, which should be BEFORE October 15th, but the sooner the better!
- North River Commission can help you accept donations
- Use NRC's donation page, where donors can specify your civic association as the target for Save Your Ash funds.
- Take a look at the Save Your Ash donation form, click here.
- NRC staff will give you regular updates of how much money you have raised.
Chicago EAB Partner Vendors
Contact for Treatment at Reduced Rates if you Mention "Chicago EAB"
Why Should we Save Ash Trees?
Ash trees makes up a significant portion of our urban canopy and are many of the oldest and largest trees in our area. Ash are is under constant threat from Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that has already killed millions of ash trees in the U.S.
However, there is an effective and affordable treatment that provides up to four years of inoculation against EAB.
After years of treatment, the City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation is no longer inoculating parkway ash trees against the emerald ash borer.**
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.
A healthy and mature urban canopy reduces flooding, helps homes to conserve energy through reduced need for air conditioning, provides habitat for native animals and insects, beautifies residential blocks, and enhances neighborhood quality of life through improved mental and physical health outcomes.
**Instead, the city will focus on removing dead and infected ash and replacing them with other species, according to Marjani Williams, department spokeswoman.
Should All Trees be Treated?
According to leading research, treatment should focus on the healthiest trees first, which do not show any signs of infection. While treatment might stop further damage from a tree that is infested with EAB, preserving the integrity of the canopy means focusing efforts and resources on the largest, most mature trees that are most likely to survive given treatment.
Vendors will assess your trees and ensure they are healthy enough to be likely to survive provided treatment. Even if a tree is treated, City of Chicago Forestry may still remove trees it determines trees are too infested and unlikely to survive.
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 protecting it from death 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, uses 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 of this treatment chemistry, and the environmental safety of this methodology to protect trees from EAB, see this fact sheet from researchers at forestry programs from; Ohio State, Michigan State University, Purdue University, and Colorado State University.
What if our Community Can't Afford Treatment?
Contact North River Commission for assistance with organizing, fundraising, and other potential resources available for neighborhoods seeking treatment of their trees.
Contact Carson at email@example.com or 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!
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.