Allouez to remove ash trees
By Rich Palzewic
ALLOUEZ – The Allouez village board received an update from Chris Clark, Parks, Recreation and Forestry director, at its May 18 virtual meeting regarding the removal of ash trees within the village.
“We have 550 ash trees within our tree population in Allouez,” Clark said. “We have about 5,500 trees total in the village. Of those 550 (ash trees), about 425 are along the streets, and the remaining 125 are within our parks and/or facilities. About 185 (of those 550), are north of Highway 172, and 365 are south of the highway. The majority of the ash trees are south of 172.”
Clark said the invasive emerald ash bore is now widespread throughout the region.
“Every community is seeing its effects,” he said. “Trees are infected everywhere, whether it’s private or public property. Green Isle Park is loaded with ash trees.”
In the last year, Clark said his staff removed approximately 77 trees total, of which 57 were ash.
“The time our staff allocated to do this work was about 850 hours,” he said. “That equates to about four-tenths of a full-time equivalent. That’s just for tree removal.
We’re going to be pushing two or three times that amount in the next year we’ll have to manage. It’s going to be a challenge because of our limited staff time. Our staff isn’t exclusive to only doing forestry work – they also do facility maintenance, athletic fields and other jobs.”
Clark said he spoke with his cohorts in Ashwaubenon about what they’ve done.
“Ashwaubenon bonded (in its budget) this year to help with ash removal,” he said. “They removed about 375 trees, which equated to a cost of more than $81,000. That averages to about $220 per tree, which is a good price.”
Clark said using those numbers, the village could potentially spend about $121,000 to remove the 550 trees.
“We don’t have the money budgeted for this,” he said. “We’ll need to find a solution. We’ll get back into tree removal within the next few months. It’s not only ash trees – there are others, too. We’re also seeing a decline in some of our maples.”
Village President Jim Rafter asked Clark about the tree replacement plan for homeowners.
“We have a replacement policy to homeowners at no cost,” Clark said. “About 40-55% of the homeowners wish to have trees replaced.”
In other news, with COVID-19 numbers improving, Rafter said the village will resume in-person meetings in the middle of June.
“It will be good to see the board members and people from the community in person,” said Rafter. “Our next meeting (June 1) will still be virtual, but our June 15 meeting will be in-person.”