Rainbow Treecare to Help Fight EAB in Hastings
Thursday, June 29, 2017
For Immediate Release:
Rainbow Treecare Recommended to Treat Ash Trees
City Negotiates Set Rate to Benefit Residents
In an effort to assist residents in the fight against Emerald Ash Borer, the City of Hastings approved a contract with Rainbow Treecare (RTC) to secure competitive pricing for Hastings residents. Rainbow Treecare is not an exclusive vendor; residents are free to select any vendor they choose. However, by selecting RTC as the City’s “Preferred Vendor”, the City was able to negotiate the lowest “not to exceed” price for treatments. Residents will benefit from lower direct treatment prices and RTC will provide Ash tree inventory and treatment data to the city.
Rainbow Tree Care was chosen using the following criteria:
1. Cost of treatment per diameter inch: RTC proposed a not to exceed price of $6.75/dbh* to treat Ash trees for EAB. *The abbreviation “dbh” stands for diameter at breast height and equates to the measurement per inch of trunk diameter measured 4.5 feet from the ground.
2. Electronic tree inventory data collection: RTC has a dedicated GPS/GIS specialist on staff that will accomplish this function and provide important data to the City to be able to track the ash trees in the community.
3. Years of experience and volume of trees treated annually: RTC has over 13 years of experience successfully treating ash trees for EAB, and treated over 8,000 trees in 2016 for both residential and municipal clients.
4. Sufficient staff dedicated to conducting preventative treatments: RTC has over 40 certified Arborists, 16 certified Pesticide Applicators, and a Director of Municipal Consulting on staff and available to Hastings residents.
The retail cost for treating ash trees for EAB typically ranges from $10.00 to $13.00/dbh. By identifying Rainbow Treecare as the preferred vendor, Hastings residents will pay $3.25 - $6.25 less per diameter inch for these treatments. After the 2017 treatment season has concluded, staff will evaluate the success of the program with the Preferred Vendor. Staff will solicit new pricing proposals for 2018 and beyond.
Rainbow Treecare can be found online at www.rainbowtreecare.com/hastings/ or at 952-922-3810. Their website contains a wealth of information regarding EAB treatments and cost comparisons.
History of EAB in Hastings
The Hastings City Council voted unanimously to adopt policies related to the Parks & Recreation Committee of Council’s recommendations pertaining to boulevard tree maintenance. This action was prompted by the 2016 discovery of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in two locations within Hastings. Since that discovery, Parks & Recreation staff has spent considerable time reviewing the EAB Management Plan, current ordinances and policies, and completing a comprehensive inventory of all public park and boulevard trees within city limits. 500 mature Ash trees reside in public parks and will be treated by city staff starting immediately. Additionally, the tree inventory indicated that 1,000 of the 4,500 boulevard trees within Hastings are Ash trees. In June, Parks & Recreation staff begun treating Ash trees located in the City’s numerous parks and public spaces.
In Hastings, boulevard trees have been and are still planted within the right of way space of City streets. While these trees are located within a public right of way, current ordinance states that the property owner is responsible for the care and maintenance of the boulevard trees, just as grass planted within the right of way is the responsibility of the homeowner. The City Forester will continue to complete periodic boulevard tree inventories where existing trees will be evaluated for current condition, hazards, etc. If tree health issues are discovered, the affected property owner will be contacted and provided with information and options. In cases where tree removal is necessary, and proper maintenance has been conducted, the City will share in the cost of the removal of the diseased or hazardous tree. The cost share is a 60/40 where 60% is property owner and 40% is City, and is limited to only the cost of tree removal.
Emerald Ash Borer has affected trees in Hastings already and an infestation is imminent. EAB is an aggressive pest, however the devastation that can occur can be mitigated through proactive efforts. Using insecticide treatments as a preventative maintenance tool is effective, safe, and cost efficient. The City encourages residents to evaluate their property for Ash trees and take time to learn about EAB treatments. Resources and additional information can be found at the city website.