Kenosha County Parks Department received a Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry grant in 2013 to do an assessment of the emerald ash borer (EAB) situation at two county-owned golf courses — Petrifying Springs and Brighton Dale — and two county parks — Petrifying Springs and Fox River. A consultant, Bluestem Forestry, was hired to conduct the assessment identifying potentially 5,600 ash trees to be removed that were considered a safety hazard to users of these four areas. A recommendation was made to hire another consultant, Renewable Resource Solutions, to develop a plan for tree removal that could also put the removed trees to their highest possible use.
Four separate removal plans with the appropriate logistical information were developed and sent out for bids to logging contractors and tree service companies. The estimated numbers of trees ranged from a high of 2,400 trees for one area to 584 on the smallest area, for a total of 4,864 trees to actually be cut. Approximately 70% of these trees needed to be completely removed. The rest were in areas where they could be cut and left in wooded areas.
The combined bids for all four areas ranged from $72,000 to just over $1,000,000 with seven bidders bidding on one or more areas. The Parks Department had an ash population of over 5,000 trees slated for removal due to EAB. Removal bids ran into the millions of dollars and were estimated to take several months to execute. The job was awarded to an experienced logger who bid $79,000 for the job using mechanized harvesting equipment. The estimated time for removal was 5 minutes per tree over the course of one month. Due to weather conditions, the project took two months to complete in all. The work was done in the winter to preserve park and golf course surfaces. The trees yielded 100,000 board feet of lumber, bolts and pulpwood.
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The Urban Wood Network is made up of individual and organizational efforts in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, working in cooperation to connect and enhance the full circle of sustainable urban forestry. This website was created as part of the grant project, Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle: Localized Approaches for Capturing Value and Enhancing Public Benefits from Urban Forests, funded by the U.S. Forest Service. The Urban Wood Network provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.