Whenever a tree is marked for removal, an inspector determines if a new tree should be planted at the site. Factors such as spacing between other trees on the parkway determine if a new tree will be planted at or near the removal site. Due to financial limitations, more than one season may pass before a new tree is planted in an appropriate site. New parkway trees are planted twice each year – mid- to late-May and early to mid-November – depending on weather conditions.
Species Selection - The tree species selected for planting locations depends on a number of factors. In addition to site conditions and fluctuations in species availability from season to season, the Village also strives to promote a stable and biologically diverse urban forest that is disease and insect resistant. As many as 20 different species and varieties may be plannted each season. While requests for specific species will be 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. Contact the Public Works Department for information on the species plan for any specific year.
Size – New parkway trees typically have trunks that are two-to-three-inches in diameter. Experience has shown that trees of this size transplant best in Oak Park’s urban environment. The additional costs of transplanting larger trees do not translate into any longer term benefits. That’s why the Village does not have a program that allows residents to pay for larger trees.
Care – Each new tree is planted and mulched, and an attached watering bag is refilled regularly during the first growing season. Residents may add water to the bag once or twice a week. Transplanting is very stressful for a young tree, which likely will exhibit little growth during the first seasons as it focuses on rebuilding its root system. Newly planted trees are inspected throughout the first growing season to confirm their viability. Any tree that does not survive is replaced the following season.