Trees planted three years ago near the courthouse are still under warranty with the contractor, and will be replaced soon, said the township’s Engineering Department.

Trees planted three years ago near the courthouse are still under warranty with the contractor, and will be replaced soon, said the township’s Engineering Department.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Bloomfield Township uses grant to plant 50 trees along Rouge River

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 9, 2021


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Fifty new trees are headed to Bloomfield Township, thanks to the municipality’s membership in the Alliance of Rouge Communities, with the hope that they’ll reduce runoff into the Rouge River.

The township’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution May 10 to accept and match grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service to purchase and plant the trees in various “areas of concern,” where runoff could potentially be a problem in the future.

“The trees have to be native, but the locations are up to each community,” explained Engineering and Environmental Services Director Olivia Olsztyn-Budry. “In past years the focus (for tree planting) has been in the right of ways and on township properties. So this time we’re suggesting the trees be focused on Maple Road, between Inkster and Franklin.”

That location, she explained, is an area of concern because of the ongoing road construction on Maple Road.

“It’s a little difficult to say exactly where the trees will go. There are some steep slopes that exist prior to construction and will exist after construction. Quite a few trees have been moved,” she said.

Other locations selected by the township’s Engineering Department to get trees are Adams Road, between Square Lake and Long Lake roads; the east side of Woodward Avenue, north of Big Beaver Road; and the east side of Telegraph Road, south of Maple Road.

The cost of the trees — including purchasing the plants, planting them and warranties from contractors to ensure the trees thrive — is around $300 per tree, or around $15,000; $7,500 of that would come from the Forest Services grant, and the rest would be taken from the township’s Woodland Trust Fund, which is financed by residents and developers who contribute to the fund in lieu of replacing existing trees they remove on their property during various projects.

Before the board voted on the resolution, Clerk Martin Brook asked Olsztyn-Budry to expand a bit on the trees’ warranty from contractors.

“I want to make sure they thrive,” he said. “On the south side of the courthouse was part of a recent planting, and it doesn’t look like any of them survived.”

Olsztyn-Budry confirmed that trees near the 48th District Court building were in bad shape, and the contractors who planted them will fulfill the required two-year warranty they agreed to upon accepting the contract from the township to do the planting.

“They are tough areas to live in. The Michigan Department of Transportation planting standards along Telegraph and Woodward (dictate) the use of 1.5-inch diameter trees. We think that’s small, but they have a better chance of surviving than the 3-inch diameter trees,” she said. “I believe we are working with the contractor, because they requested because of COVID they get some extra time. But they will be dug up and replaced.”

Part of the resolution approved by trustees was to direct the Engineering and Environmental Services Department to prepare bid documents to secure a contractor and design plan by the fall, so trees can go in once summer construction is over.