The City of Brighton has a program that is saving residents a lot of money on tree removal.
In 2010, the Forestry Management Plan was created to identify what the needs were of the ‘urban forest.’ The City has determined the older part of Brighton where there are a lot of Siberian Elm Trees as ground zero. This is the area with the trees that are in the worst shape and are in the most need or removal, sooner rather than later.
Many of these trees sit on a detached sidewalk; meaning, it’s City property but up to the homeowner to maintain and take care of the trees rooted there. That’s how the cost share program was established; to reduce the financial burden on the homeowners with trees that have been deemed unsafe by the City. Through this program, a homeowner’s cost is often reduced by 50-percent or more if the tree meets the requirement of removal.
“So if you’re looking at a tree that might be, about $1,000 to remove, with our program it would cost the homeowner about $300 to remove,” Brighton’s Open Space Manager and ISA Certified Arborist Kyle Sylvester said.
The homeowner pays the City their portion of the cost and then the appropriate company is hired to remove the hazardous tree and to make the land safer for everyone. Sylvester says this is a crucial step to ensuring the job is done right.
“It does matter. It is a very technical job and a very dangerous job so you want to make sure they are licensed and certified and that they are ISA certified arborists,” he said. “You want a company that works for you that knows what they’re doing, is professional and safe at what they’re doing. That’s the most important thing.”
An inventory was done to prioritize what trees needed to be removed and how the process would be done.
Sylvester said, “The ones that we’re targeting are the ones that are more than 50-percent dead, and have a large, big wood over-hanging streets and walk-ways where kids walk under or people walk under and cars are parked underneath that we’re trying to get rid of first and plant new ones that are better suited for those right-aways.”
The city’s goal is not only to remove trees. It offers other programs that eliminate the cost of planting trees.
“Our goal is to mitigate the hazard with some of these trees, but also to get trees back into the right-away so we have that canopy backing our community so the trees can provide the benefits that they do. It’s part of being a living infrastructure,” Sylvester said.
Trees for that program are currently growing in the City’s nursery and should be ready in about a year to be planted.
If you’re interested in learning more or signing up for any of these programs, contact the Forestry office at 303-655-3054. These programs are offered on a first-come first-serve basis.