In a March City Council meeting, the Lakewood City Council agreed to a 5-year contract extension with tree services provider, West Coast Arborists, Inc. Continuing a partnership that began in 1994, WCA will provide the City of Lakewood with exceptional tree care services and bring new, innovative treatment and care to Lakewood’s neighborhood trees following guidelines set forth by the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority.

In December 2021, the California JPIA updated its recommended procedures and standards and issued a new template guideline on tree maintenance for its agency members to adopt and follow. Following the California JPIA’s core mission of risk mitigation and prevention, the newly developed guidelines and templates were designed to help member cities mitigate liability exposures associated with their urban trees. Urban forest and neighborhood trees often present a long list of risks that can be prevented with proper care and maintenance. Not only do the new guidelines seek to limit tree-related risks, but they also set out to provide care and protection of our communities’ beloved trees.

Taking note of the California JPIA’s updated procedures and guidelines, the City of Lakewoodspent time and care modifying the language in their tree services agreement, working diligently to include the California JPIA’s latest recommendations. With the new contract, the City looks to increase the overall level of service and care of neighborhood trees by enhancing the existing grid trimming approach to include full trims on a more frequent basis.

Turning to long-term tree care partner, West Coast Arborists, the City’s newfound tree goals and contract will be set into action in July 2022. WCA will begin providing full trims on every community tree within a four-year cycle and trim certain species more frequently on a 2-year cycle. This increased level of service is designed to lessen the number of random service requests and tree-related risks.

WCA will also enact their innovative software, Arbor Access, to help update the City’s tree inventory. Arbor Access, WCA’s state-of-the-art tree tracking technology, will be used to help both the City and WCA identify trees in need of maintenance and care at a much more efficient and accurate rate. With the help of their software, WCA will also provide the City with other tree-related services, such as removals, planting, arborist inspections, and emergency responses.

“We are constantly impressed by West Coast Arborists’ innovative approach to tree care and their efficient, steadfast delivery of services,” said the City of Lakewood’s Public Works Director, Kelli Tunniclif. “We look forward to seeing the new contract in action and continuing our working relationship.”