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Once an elm tree is diagnosed with Dutch Elm Disease, the City of Evanston requires removal of the tree within 30 days. If the diseased tree is located on private property, the property owner must bear the cost of removal. This cost can range from approximately $1,000 for medium-sized trees, to over $4,000 for very large trees.

In order to avoid these unexpected costs, the City’s Parks/Forestry Division offers Dutch Elm Disease (DED) insurance to all Evanston property owners. This annual insurance covers only the tree removal costs if the tree becomes infected with Dutch Elm Disease, and is only for a one-year period. An insurance application and payment must be submitted to the City of Evanston Parks/Forestry Division no later than Thursday, May 31, 2012. Insurance ranges from $60 to $140 per tree per year.

The City provides free testing of an insured elm tree if DED symptoms appear. If symptoms are evident in 5% or less of the tree’s canopy, the homeowner may choose to try to save the insured tree by hiring a tree company to cut out the diseased portions. Because of liability issues, City workers may not trim private trees.

If the insured tree is too infected to save and requires removal, the City will handle all aspects and costs of that removal for the homeowner. Removal is to “ground level” by a highly qualified, insured tree company. Removal of the in-ground stump would be left up to the homeowner, who could hire a local tree company to perform that task. More information is available by calling 311 or online at www.cityofevanston.org/forestry/dutch-elm-insurance.