Grand Rapids to remove/prune 3,000 trees

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The city is getting ready to cut down or prune nearly 3,000 'priority one, high-risk' trees.

On Sept. 12, City Commissioners approved a $2.1 million dollar forestry project to remove 1,558 trees that are dead or in poor condition while pruning another 1,479.

Park superintendent Joe Sulak says the six month project is in response to a 2016 comprehensive public tree inventory conducted by the city.

"The city owns 85,185 trees," Sulak said. "The commission has been focused on proactive tree care for years, which really started with the approval of the street tree inventory, giving us tools to manage appropriately and in an equitable way."

Back in May, three people were taken to the hospital, including a mother and her child, after a massive branch from a 'priority one' tree fell on them at Riverside Park.

Sulak says the city is removing and pruning trees to keep dangerous situations like this from happening in the future. Commissioners will use a combination of city staff and private contractors to tackle the job starting Nov. 1. However, crews are already in the field.

"The city is putting out bids next week, so anyone who's interested should register as a vendor with the city," Sulak said. "Once November 1st hits, we'll have contractors on the ground and we'll manage it accordingly."

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