"We're very much more focus on preservation, but there are times when you have to take trees down-- trees die from dutch elm disease and the emerald ash borer is in town," said Richards.
The emerald ash borer is a green beetle from Asia. It was first discovered in Detroit in 2002, and the beetle slowly made its way to Illinois four years later.
A move Richards said, is beginning to destroy the tree population in the forest city especially ash trees.
"We have a plan that's in place and we're working on that now because its absolutely here in Rockford. We found trees that have it in so we've been systematically removing trees," said Richards.
Rockford is not the only city affected by the emerald ash borer. Other nearby counties are also at risk with reports of the beetle in Lee County and Henry County.
Illinois Department of Agriculture said, they are working aggressively to tackle the spread in order to prevent it from getting worst.
"So that artificial spread is the main culprit in how its spreading. You know people are unknowingly moving firewood which is why we have it as a regulated article.. Nursery stock isn't being moved as much," said Emerald Ash Borer Program Manager for the Illinois Department of Agriculture Scott Schirmer.
Experts believe the beetle will continue to become a problem for homeowners and there's a reason why. Richards said, because removing the tree could prove to be a financial burden for some.
"I don't know if there will be any kind of government assistance or assistance from the city as that situation gets worst and worst which it will in the next two to three years," said Richards.