With the impact of Dutch elm disease and emerald ash borer still being felt in urban forests across the country, Oak Park is focused on species diversity as new trees are selected and planted on parkways across the community.
The 365 new trees planted this spring in the Village include 28 different species, an approach arborists have resoundingly recognized as the best way to avoid future blights that can sweep through a single species with devastating results.
The Village Forester, certified a Master Arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture, manages when, where and what trees will be planted. While requests for specific species are considered, the Village cannot provide a list of available tree species from which a resident can select since site conditions and species availability vary greatly from season to season.
The overall goal of the careful species selection process is to have a healthy, sustainable urban forest for future generations to enjoy.
New trees planted in Oak Park typically are 10 feet to 15 feet tall with a two-inch trunk diameter and a 36-inch root ball. Each new tree is planted and mulched, and a watering bag attached that is refilled regularly during the first growing season. A second planting of approximately 200 trees is planned for the coming fall.
For more information on tree care in the Village visit www.oak-park.us/trees.
Free consultations available…Oak Park residents can get help selecting the right tree species to plant in their yards from the forestry subcommittee of the Community Design Commission. Subcommittee members will help assess the planting site and offer advice on species by factors such as size, habit, texture, growth rate, maintenance and seasonal color.
The review is available from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. at the subcommittee’s regular meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Space is limited. Be sure to bring a site plan or plat of survey and information about existing vegetation near the proposed tree location.
To schedule a consultation, call 708.358.5440 or email email@example.com.