Discover the Importance of Oak Trees and How to Care for Them at 'An Evening for the Oaks' May 15
The first 50 people to register for the program
will receive a free oak sapling. A limited number of oak trees will also be available for sale at the program.
“Oaks are the foundation of our ecosystem,” said Tom Velat, Forest Preserve District ecology coordinator. “They’re dramatic and beautiful, but they also provide food and shelter for birds, insects and other wildlife year-round.”
“Oak trees are the reason the Woodridge Park District initiated restoration efforts at Hawthorne Hill Woods,” said Christopher Pollack, Natural Resources manager for the Woodridge Park District. “Creating habitat that allows for new oak growth is vitally important to the ecological health of our community.”
Oaks can live to be 250 years old, but the county’s population is aging. By planting saplings now, residents can ensure there will be mature oaks to replace them.
Some interesting oak facts:
● Oaks are a keystone species. If they weren’t around, other plants and animals might not be around either. Red-headed woodpeckers and flying squirrels depend on oaks’ large cavities to raise their young. Over 500 insects live and feed on oaks, providing food for Wilson’s warblers, American redstarts, common yellowthroats and other insect-eating migrants rely on oaks’ “fast food” stops along the way.
● Oak trees are usually large in size. They can reach 70 feet in height and 9 feet in width. Their branches can reach 135 feet in length.
● Oaks produce more than 2,000 acorns a year, but only one acorn in 10,000 will grow into a tree. Deer, squirrels and other wildlife eat a lot of acorns, and acorns that don’t end up as meals need special conditions to sprout. They must remain at certain temperatures for four to eight weeks. If the weather is too warm or too cold, the process cannot start.
● An oak tree can soak up 50 gallons of water in one day. This means oaks can play an important role in flood-control efforts.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 4 million people visit its 60+ forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Founded in 1969, the Woodridge Park District serves approximately 35,500 residents, offers more than 1,000 programs annually, and maintains five facilities and 60 community and neighborhood parks and sites, woodlands, wetlands, bikeways and open space, totaling 655 acres.
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