Oak Woodlands Trail Improvement Project: Hazardous Tree Mitigation Work to Proceed Fall 2013

[This photo shows a dead tree standing, one of the hazardous trees slated for removal]

Pending approval by the Rec and Park Commission in September, we will begin the hazardous tree mitigation component of the Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project this Fall. The Trails Improvement Project is the result of extensive community input.  Please see the main project page for a description of the scope of the project.

As part of planning and design, trees within 50’ of improved trails were assessed to identify hazards.  Approximately 44 trees were recommended by independent arborist HortScience for removal and 4 for pruning. The window for tree work in the Oak Woodlands is even narrower than the regulated bird nesting season allows because raptor nesting activity can start as early as January.  As part of the separate Park Forestry Program, Arborwell Professional Tree Management will be doing GGP Phase II hazardous tree abatement along Conservatory Drive, in close proximity to the tree pruning and removals recommended by the Trails Improvement Program, this Fall. Increasing the scope of GGP Phase II hazardous tree abatement to incorporate the tree work that has been conceptually approved by the Commission for the GGP Oak Woodlands Trail Improvement Project will allow the Department to abate hazards to park users this Fall, as opposed to having to wait almost a year to take advantage of the next bird nesting-free window.  The rest of the scope of work involved with the GGP Oak Woodlands Trail Improvement Project will be compiled in a bid package and publicly bid to contractors in Winter/ Spring 2014 after the Rec and Park Commission approves award of that contract.

On August 28, we will do a courtesy 30-day advanced notice posting on each of the 44 trees that is slated for removal. Tree work will begin after September 28th. Our goal is to complete tree work prior to the beginning of 2014 in order to minimize disruption to nesting birds. Tree planting as well as trailside restoration planting is also part of the scope of the main Trails Improvement Project.

We will post regular updates to this blog throughout the duration of the project. We will also post informational signage on site.