All of those tree stumps on Brookfield parkways, the result of the removal of scores of ash trees due to the emerald ash borer infestation, will be ground down this spring and up to 250 more trees will be removed this year by a combination of public works employees and private contractors.
Last week, crews from Homer Tree Care started taking down 89 trees – the number could go up to 100, said Public Works Director Kenneth Blaauw – that were included in a $48,522 tree removal contract awarded by the Brookfield Village Board in late March.
All of the trees being removed by Homer Tree Care are either located on collector routes, such as Maple Avenue, Prairie Avenue, Grand Boulevard and Washington Avenue, or are located near power lines.
The company will grind down the stumps of those 89 trees in addition to another 200 stumps scattered around the village.
Original estimates pegged the work at about $98,000, but Lockport-based Homer Tree Care swept in with a bid about half that total, beating out three other bidders. Neither of the tree services located in Brookfield bid on the project, according to Village Manager Keith Sbiral.
Blaauw said Homer Tree Care is the largest tree removal company in the Chicago area and likely bid on the Brookfield project due to a lack of work this year through the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois tollway system.
“They have a certain number of people that they like to keep busy, and this project fit their schedule,” Blaauw told the village board on March 27.
According to Blaauw the number of trees Homer Tree Care removes could increase after the village’s arborist evaluates the parkway tree stock once trees begin leafing out in May.
Another 50 trees are expected to be removed from public parkways of streets that are scheduled to be repaired this summer, Blaauw said, and up to 100 more trees will be taken down by public works employees.
This year’s tree removal program should take care of almost all of the trees in need of removal due to the ash borer infestation.
In 2013, the village’s public works director at that time stated that Brookfield’s 1,300 ash trees comprised about 15 percent of the village public tree stock. Not all of the village’s ash trees have succumbed to the ash borer. There are some species of ash trees, the blue ash in particular, that appear to be more resistant than others.
Residents wishing to have a new tree planted on the parkway in front of their homes can do so by requesting to be included in the village’s 50/50 tree replacement program.
Participation in the program costs $200. Anyone interested should contact the village manager’s office at 708-485-7344 by April 28.