Ashwaubenon bonding to remove ash trees
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – The village will bond more than $90,000 this year to remove around 450 ash trees on public land because of emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation.
The Ashwaubenon village board Tuesday, Feb. 23, awarded bids totaling $81,540 to Treeo’s Tree Service of Menasha to remove 147 ash trees along streets in five management zones primarily east of Interstate 41, approximately another 183 in Ashwaubomay Park and 43 more in Fort Howard, Smith and Canterbury parks.
The board awarded another bid of $10,079 to Foley’s Tree Service of Tomahawk to remove approximately 74 trees in Argonne Park.
Ashwaubenon’s forester, Tim Bauknecht, said the contract was split into four projects with Treeo’s submitting the low bid for three of them and Foley’s providing the other low bid.
“I had every intention to award multiple contracts, if it was in the best interest of the village to do so,” he said. “As it turned out, we had a low bidder on three of the four projects and then a separate low bidder on a different project.”
Bauknecht said both companies removed trees for municipalities in the past.
Following the board awarding the bids to the two contractors, Bauknecht said the deadline to remove the trees is Dec. 15, 2021.
“A lot of the park sites require frozen and/or dry ground to get in there with this heavy equipment,” he said. “So that way, if they don’t finish this spring, before the frost comes out, they have an opportunity next fall to get into some of the park sites to do that work. The day-to-day scheduling is going to be up to the company and the contractor and the areas that they work in. We have a few situations that we need to coordinate on apartment complexes and coordinating with the tenants to make sure their vehicles aren’t in the way.”
Bauknecht said it’s likely tree removal in the parks will be done before the frost thaws this spring.
He said the village is currently participating in a tree planting grant with NEW Water at Ashwaubomay, Argonne and Smith parks to replace trees removed due to EAB.
Bauknecht said residents will be offered replacement street trees at no charge that will be planted, if appropriate, the year following an ash tree removal.
He informed the board about two years ago Ashwaubenon is “generally infested” with EAB – a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia – and it is reasonable to assume most ash trees in the village are or will be infested.
Bauknecht said EAB threatens the ash tree population because its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees and cause them to starve and eventually die.