Northfield replacing borer-infested trees
KGI Landscaping workers prepare to plant a new tree along Bosworth Lane in Northfield on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:03AM
NORTHFIELD — After battling the emerald ash borer, the Village of Northfield is in the process of wrapping up a nearly three-year plan as they work to replace nearly 250 trees affected by the invasive beetle.
Crews began delivering and installing the latest shipment of trees earlier this month and the village plans to continue planting into the spring.
Northfield Community Development Director Steve Gutierrez said the village received six bids ranging from $36,693 to upwards of $67,500 for the current project. The low bidder was KGI Landscaping of Skokie, which had previously done planting for the village.
A variety of new tree breeds will take the place of ash trees currently on the village rights of way, including oaks, maples, hackberries, hornbeams, yellow buckeyes, tulip trees and Kentucky coffee trees.
“We’re trying to make a diverse mix so when the next disease comes along we can mitigate it,” Village Manager Stacy Sigman said. “We’re certainly ahead of our long-term plan. We were hoping to do it over a three-year period, but we can complete removals in one season. We do hope to budget continued parkway tree replacements.”
Last fall, the village replaced about 70 trees with a $14,000 grant received from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.
This year, Northfield received a second grant from the caucus for $10,000 for the replacement of an additional 180 trees. The village was one of only seven towns to receive two emerald ash borer grants.
Beginning with the 2009 emerald ash borer action plan developed by staff, the village examined and documented all types of trees on public property. Northfield estimated 13 percent of their trees on the public right of way were ash trees.
The cost of treating and repairing the trees was determined to be prohibitive with no certainty of long life and replacement was considered the best option.
“We knew a lot of the ash trees were not in great condition so we decided to remove and replace them,” said Village Planner Linnea O’Neill. “We’re putting in approximately half (of the 180 trees) this fall and the other half in spring. Some trees are best transplanted in spring and that’s why there’s fall and spring planting.”
In deciding on new types of trees to plant, the village partnered with the Morton Arboretum to come up with the list to be delivered by KGI.
“We wanted to diversify and plant some native trees,” O’Neill said. “We were lucky to get grant money for two years and have the village board put money aside for planting the tees.”