Urban Forestry Contract Up for Discussion Monday in Park Forest

Willow tree, Central Park, urban forestry
A willow tree in Park Forest’s Central Park. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- An urban forestry contract is on the agenda for discussion at Monday’s meeting of the Village Board. The bids include removal of some trees and pruning of others. The budget includes $80,000 for such operations.

“This has allowed staff to maintain the goal of pruning all public trees in town on a seven to ten-year cycle,” Director of Recreation & Parks Robert Gunther said in an agenda memo to the Village Board. “Since this goal was established late in the 1990’s, all public trees in the Village have been pruned at least three times.”

This happened in spite of the emerald ash borer infestation that “consumed most of the Urban Forestry resources for about seven years,” Mr. Gunther said.

The Village solicited bids for the project in a newspaper, by direct mail to “two tree service companies who have asked to be on the Bid List,” and on the Village of Park Forest’s website.

Two companies responded and sent bids. 

Mr. Gunther’s memo continues:

Common practice for pricing tree maintenance and removals is by tree diameter at breast height (DBH).  Measured in inches, this is nominally 4 ½ feet off the ground.  Trees are then separated into four size ranges for pricing purposes; up to 12” DBH, 13” – 24” DBH, 25” – 36” DBH and 37” DBH and above.  The bids are enumerated below according to these size groupings.  In order to make comparison simpler, bids for the four categories are averaged and listed under each bidder’s column. 

The low bidder for both removals and punning is Winkler’s Tree & Landscape Service Inc. in LaGrange.  For an average size tree in Park Forest, (20” DBH) it will cost $525.16 to remove this tree or $60.00 to prune it.  Pricing for removals will be somewhat higher than the Village has been paying but the cost for pruning is in line with what the Village has been.  Winkler’s Tree & Landscape has several Certified Arborists on staff and has serviced this contract in the past. 

According to Mr. Gunther, since 2011 staff has planted at least 275 trees throughout the Village, most of these financed in part through various grants. Additionally, 2,500 trees have been pruned and 218 removed.

This data does not include ash trees lost to emerald ash borer infestation.