In 2019, Chicago’s City Inspector General, Joe Ferguson, released a report saying that Chicago could save as much as 60% on the average cost of pruning a tree. Three of the city’s Aldermen set out to make a board designed to establish an improved forestry program for the city.
Chicago has a fleet of local tree professionals who take care of tree issues in the giant city. These tree experts all live within the city limits of Chicago, and work in a variety of settings.
One year after Ferguson’s damning report, in August of 2020, these Chicago tree specialists got a chance to prove their mettle.
In one single storm, on a Monday in August, 3,600 emergency tree requests came into the switchboard for the city of Chicago. 3,600 requests.
City forestry workers had to work well into the night every night that week.
Within one 24-hour period, Chicago’s tree trimmers completed 925 jobs’ worth of tree work in response to the storm.
A letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun-Times from August 12 of 2020 defended the city’s tree teams.
Bob Chianelli, the assistant business manager of LiUNA Local Union 1001, wrote:
“Instead of criticizing [our tree professionals], maybe you should be out there thanking them. Maybe you should stop playing politics with people’s lives. And if this is truly about money, then do your homework – no one is cheaper and better at what they do than the City of Chicago tree trimmers, period. Give them the resources and manpower they need and deserve and they will show you why they are the best in the business. Thanks to all the city tree trimmers. Your hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed. Keep up the good work and be safe.”