Tree Removal Now a Shared Cost

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Naperville residents will be sharing the cost if they want a dead parkway tree replaced on their property.

While previously, the city would replace the tree on its own dime, at the most recent City Council meeting, staff recommended implementing a 50-50 split between the city and property owner.

The average price to replace a tree this year is $330 including installation, burdening each side of the split with a $165 bill – a price Council agreed was fair.

“That’s reasonable if you think about it,” said Naperville City Councilwoman Patty Gustin. “I can’t wait to see what the outcome is after the fall. We already have the shared sidewalk expense so people are familiar with that.”

Residents do have the option to opt out of the program this year if they don’t want a replacement.

“From our knowledge of how we do our program now, 10 percent of people do not want the trees replanted for one reason or another – a sight distance or whatever,” said Director of Public Works Dick Dublinski. “So they don’t even want a free tree in their yard.”

Dublinski said he will collect the tree removal data this year and Council can decide if they want to make the replacement mandatory in the future.

Of the more than 70,000 parkway trees in Naperville, an average of 800 are replaced each year. The new cost split would lead to an average yearly savings of $132,000 for the city.

“We have a beautiful urban forest and we believe we should keep that urban forest up,” said Dublinski. “We have a great forest right now and to maintain those 70,000 parkway trees, we believe for every tree we take down, we should replace it. It’s that simple.”

Council approved the change by a vote of 8-1 with Councilman John Krummen voting against the motion.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.