ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- There are more than 8,000 ash trees around the forest city that need to come down to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer.
On Friday, crews will start taking down 19 ash trees that line the perimeter of Highland Park off Rural Street. This proactive move is to prevent the spread of the tiny bug which eats away at a tree's bark, and slowly starves the plant. A few ash trees around the park won't get cut down. Instead, they'll be treated with chemicals to prevent infestation.
"We have an inventory of over 8,000 trees in the city of Rockford and can’t wait for them all to die before taking them down, we have to start taking them down incrementally,” said Mark Stockman, City of Rockford Street Superintendent.
The city plans to re-plant trees to replace what gets cut down, but not every tree will be replaced because right now, some are too close to one another.