The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 | village@oak-park.us

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Make way for winter tree pruning

Jan. 17, 2019 - Residents are urged to move their cars from the streets when temporary no-parking signs go up to allow private contractors to prune parkway trees quickly and safely as the winter trimming cycle continues.

Beginning this year, one third of the Village’s 18,000-plus parkway trees will be trimmed, rather than one quarter as in past years. The new approach means that all parkways trees south of Madison Street will be pruned this winter.

An analysis of annual requests for pruning beyond the previous four-year cycle found that more than half of the complaints came from the quarter of the Village scheduled to be trimmed in the next cycle.

By reducing the time between pruning, Village foresters will evaluate the trees more often and identify potential problem branches before they become issues. More frequent trimming also means the visual impact will be more subtle.

Crews follow the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines for tree care to address three key issues — tree health, resident safety and protecting property from damage. Dead or dying limbs are removed and canopies raised to allow for safe vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and create appropriate clearances for adjacent structures and signs.

While the pruning can seem excessive when no leaves are on the limbs, crews work to ensure that pruning is just right as foliage returns in the spring. With a program that now aims to prune every tree on public property once every three years, plans must consider that parkway trees can grow up to two feet each year — or six feet between pruning cycles.

The Village’s pruning program has proven very successful in minimizing storm damage and reducing ongoing pruning requests. Residents are urged to call 708.358.5700 or email publicworks@oak-park.us with questions or concerns about the type or quality of work being performed by contractors.

More information on the care of the nearly 18,000 trees on public property is posted at www.oak-park.us/trees.