$550K to take down 5,000 trees; Asian longhorned beetle battle goes on.

AuthorKotsopoulos, Nick

Byline: Nick Kotsopoulos

WORCESTER -- Removing an estimated 5,000 trees in the Green Hill Park area is the next phase of the multiyear battle against the Asian longhorned beetle, and it comes with a price tag of more than $550,000.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation has awarded the contract for "full host tree removals'' in and around Green Hill Park to Wagner Wood, an Amherst-based company that bid $555,310 for the contract.

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said the winning bid equates to $9,916 per acre for the 56 acres where the trees will be taken down.

He said there is no cost to the city for the project, as it is being funded, managed and controlled by DCR.

The intent of the "full host removal'' strategy -- cutting down "host'' trees that may not be infested by the invasive beetles but are susceptible to them -- is to create a buffer zone where infested trees have been found, to stop the movement of the invasive Asian longhorned beetle to other parts of the city and into nearby towns.

Wagner Wood is the same contractor hired by the state for tree removals on DCR property in West Boylston, which started about three weeks before the Worcester contract was awarded.

Mr. Augustus said DCR evaluates bids by awarding points for the quality of the work plan, the ability to complete the job in a timely manner and the experience of the equipment operators, as well as the price.

Paul J. Moosey, Worcester commissioner of public works and parks, said Wagner Wood's bid happened to be the lowest, and was 50 percent of the top bid and one-third lower than the next lowest bid.

"DCR doesn't measure or bid full-host cuts by the number of trees, but rather by the amount of acres impacted,'' he wrote in a report that goes before the City Council Tuesday night.

The commissioner said the contract requires removal of all host trees, whether alive or dead, standing or felled, as well as all twigs, branches and leaves. He said if only standing host trees are removed, beetles still could spread in materials on the ground.

"There is a significant difference between removing a host tree in a residential area and removing all host material in a wooded area,'' he said. "The contractor is required to manually walk the area and hand pick the debris left behind from the cutting process.''

Mr. Augustus said DCR has been pleased with Wagner's work...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT