Lake Zurich replacing trees removed due to emerald ash borer

Lake Zurich will spend more than $40,000 to replace public trees that have been removed due to emerald ash borer infestation.

Village board trustees Monday night voted 5-0 in favor of a contract with Arte Verde Garden Center of Poplar Grove to plant a variety of trees, including red oak, hackberry, ginkgo and northern catalpa.

Arte Verde was one of four businesses that submitted bids for the village contract and came in lowest at $40,460. KCI Landscaping Co. of Skokie topped the list by offering to do the job for $103,600.

Lake Zurich Trustee Jim Beaudoin noted Arte Verde’s low price and complimented village staff for its handling of the bidding process. Lake Zurich had budgeted $57,000 for tree replacement.

“The highest bid was $103,600 for the same amount we get done for $40,460,” Beaudoin said. “So, again, that’s great work by staff and continuing to be conscious of taxpayers’ money.”

Roughly 300 ash trees have been removed since the metallic green beetle was confirmed in Lake Zurich in March 2011. Arte Verde intends to plant 140 replacement trees with a 3-inch caliper and covering six species.

At a recent meeting, Lake Zurich tree commission Chairman Scott Garrison said the village needs to allot money toward felling another 2,700 ash species in the next two years or so because they are in a “death curve” and pose potential hazards.

The beetle has destroyed millions of ash trees since being discovered in North America in 2002 in southeast Michigan. In Illinois, the emerald ash borer was found in June 2006 in a subdivision near Lily Lake in Kane County.

Libertyville is among the Lake County towns in a position similar to Lake Zurich. In August, the village board agreed to pay a contractor $47,300 for removal of 43 of the largest diameter ash trees, with an estimated 5,000 remaining.

It’s the second consecutive budget year in which Libertyville officials allocated funds specially for an emerald ash borer management program to treat or remove infected trees in public areas. The amount for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which began May 1, was $99,500.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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