Evanston Group To Urge City Council To Reconsider Elm Tree Treatment Plan

Bernie Tafoya
May 26, 2020 - 12:23 pm
Elm Tree
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A resident of Evanston plans to urge the city council Tuesday night to do more to prevent elm trees from dying in the coming year.

Virginia Mann, co-founder of T.R.E.E.S. (To Rescue Evanston Elms), plans to urge Evanston City Council on Tuesday night to re-consider its decision to only treat half of Evanston’s 1,800 elm trees with a fungicide to prevent Dutch elm disease.

The Evanston City Council made the move earlier this month in order to save money, in a year the city is expecting less revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But, Mann said the move could be short-sighted. She said it could wind up being more costly if a number of trees become diseased and die, because they were not going to be treated until next year.

"The cost of injecting a mature elm tree is about $300 every three years versus the cost of cutting that same tree down is about $3,000," Mann said. 

Mann said most Evanston elms are 125 years old, are about six to seven stories tall and provide great shade. She said they suck up a lot of water when it rains, and therefore, are helpful in controlling flooding.

Without some of the trees, she said, property values could be hurt, as would Evanston's curb-appeal.

Evanston's City Council is scheduled to meet virtually Monday night.