As the emerald ash borer continues to invade Oak Park trees, local officials are brainstorming on how to put affected ashes to good use. That’s especially important because actively cutting down ash trees is the only way to stop the spread of the invasive Asian beetle.

The village held a demonstration Nov. 13 at Maple Park to show residents how to turn trees into useable lumber. Horigan Urban Forest Products brought a portable sawmill to the park and used it to turn trees into lumber.

Oak Park has about 2,600 ash trees in public parkways, according to a village press release, and numerous more on private properties. The village is planning to spend $2.5 million over the next 10 years to actively take down ash trees throughout Oak Park.

George Bastable slices one of the trees into boards.

Join the discussion on social media!