More Trees, Please
From The Conservationist
All types of DuPage wildlife will benefit from the 1,000 trees and shrubs the Forest Preserve District’s forestry and landscaping crews transplanted from the District nursery during the annual fall tree-planting program.
At Oak Meadows Golf Preserve in Addison, 175 new trees now augment the ongoing largescale restoration work, and crews will plant an additional 300 by 2019. In all, a third of the trees and shrubs needed for the project will come from the District nursery, which will help offset contractor costs.
About 300 trees replaced ash the District removed from picnic areas because of the destructive nonnative emerald ash borer. Others filled in reforested areas of Blackwell in Warrenville and Mallard Lake in Bloomingdale, where tree mortality was high because of the beetle. Over 100 were planted at the new off-leash dog area at Hawk Hollow in Bartlett and about two dozen at Oldfield Oaks in Darien, where the District started work in 2016 on a new off-leash area.
The District transplants roughly 15 percent of its stock in the spring, especially redbuds, tulip trees and others that do better that time of year, but the majority of this work is in the fall. Crews are more available in fall than in spring, when they’re beginning post-winter trail cleanups, mowing newly sprouted grass, replacing turf and tending to the nursery. Most trees transplant better in the fall, too, because the warmer soils and cooler air make it easier to establish new roots. As the air cools, the trees stop producing leaves, fruit and woody parts and focus their energy on growing new roots in the still-warm ground. This helps them better prepare for droughts and extreme heat that may accompany next year’s growing season.
From the Winter 2016 issue of The Conservationist