Emerald ash borers destroying trees in Champaign-Urbana area

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An invasive insect species has been wreaking havoc on ash trees throughout central Illinois this summer.

Urbana Arborist Mike Brunk tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette he’s found about 90 dead or mostly dead ash trees while performing routine tree inspections since mid-June. He believes the emerald ash borer will cause Urbana to lose all of its city-owned ash trees within the next two years.

The insect also has been killing ash trees by the dozens in Champaign since it was discovered in June 2012.

Champaign’s arborist, Andrew Lamoreux, says the city has removed 39 ash trees since the beginning of July.

This summer, Champaign changed its plan of attack from working to save ash trees on city property to removing all of them over the next six years.