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Lombard's new forestry supervisor works to maintain trees

LOMBARD – For Eric Hendrickson, Lombard’s new forestry and urban landscaping supervisor, taking care of the village’s trees is crucial.

“[After] tree removal, planting back as many trees as we can is important so we don’t lose our urban forest,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson of Villa Park,began his new position in late November. He previously worked in Glen Ellyn, where he oversaw the village’s tree program for more than two decades.

“Eric was hired because of a combination of his personality and experience,” said Carl Goldsmith, public works director for Lombard. “He has the educational background, which includes a great knowledge of the Emerald Ash Borer which does affect the village.”

Hendrickson filled a position vacated when former supervisor Steve Kremske retired under the village’s early retirement plan, Goldsmith said. Hendrickson was hired from a pool of 23 applicants.

Fielding calls from residents concerned about parkway trees is a big part of the job, said Hendrickson. Inspecting for two common diseases – emerald ash borer and dutch elm diseases – is a common task.

Emerald ash borer is an invasive species highly destructive to ash trees. It was first discovered in America in 2002 in Michigan, and has since been a consistent focus of concern for local municipalities.

“It’s a unique problem right now,” Hendrickson said.

Dutch elm disease is spread by the elm bark beetle and affects elm trees.

A characteristic of both diseases is the dieback of leaves, he said.

Other job duties involve budget preparation, compiling bid packets and overseeing contracted work.

Hendrickson graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1990 with a degree in political science. After switching career paths, he received an associate’s degree from College of DuPage in 1998 in ornamental horticulture.

He has been a certified arborist since 1993 and an Illinois licensed pesticide applicator since 1996. Hendrickson also holds certifications in turf grass management.

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