The City of Evanston once again is offering private insurance to cover elm trees on private property. The deadline to apply for the program is May 31, 2013.

The City of Evanston Public Works Department’s Forestry Division cares for the thousands of trees in parks, public areas and on the miles and miles of beautiful parkways. The city regularly performs pruning and other preventative maintenance measures, tests for Dutch elm disease, and removes trees which have become too diseased to save. However, the city does not remove or treat trees on private property. Instead, the city encourages residents to participate in its Private Elm Tree Insurance Program.

Once an elm tree is diagnosed with Dutch elm disease, the city 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 Forestry Division offers Dutch elm disease 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’s Forestry Division no later than Friday, May 31, 2013. Insurance ranges from $60 to $140 per tree per year.

More information and a link to the application form is available online at www.cityofevanston.org/forestry.