The City of O’Fallon received a $10,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) program.

O’Fallon was one of 36 communities to receive the grant, which O’Fallon has earmarked for education and tree planting.

“Trees make life better for our cities and towns every day,” said MDC Community Forestry Program Supervisor Russell Hinnah in an MDC press release. “TRIM grants help communities with tree inventory, pruning, planting, and programs that help keep our neighborhood trees healthy and thriving.

“Tree inventories are an important way for communities to manage and plan for the future,” said Hinnah. “You have to know not only where the trees are, but how to care for them. An inventory allows a community to thoughtfully plan work rather than responding to the latest disaster.”

“The City of O’Fallon will be able to use the grant to offset the trees that will impacted by the emerald ash borer, or EAB, by planting trees now to replace the ones that will die from the damage,” said O’Fallon’s Landscape Manager Bob Deardeuff. “Due to the emerald ash borer, O’Fallon likely will lose all 247 ash trees on municipal grounds, including 133 trees in City parks. To offset the loss, the Landscape Division developed a plan for planting 300 new trees between 2016 and 2020. That way, the replacement trees will have a head start on growth before the first of the dying ash trees must be removed.”

The replacement trees will be planted next to ash trees, with the ash trees left standing until they need to be cut down. High-visibility ash trees will be tagged with a label displaying information about the EAB.