Tree Body of Palos Park
  News  |  Resources  |  Links  |  Meeting Agendas and Minutes 



Few trees die of “old age.”  Improper planting, damage during construction, and poor care, usually done because of a misguided idea as to what is good for a tree, or without knowing the impact of the act, can stress a tree.  Usually, it takes several acts and several years for the stress to weaken the tree enough to permit disease and insects to kill it. 


Digging the hole too small, shallow and too narrow for the tree.

Do not water the tree excessively or let dry out. 

Make sure the root ball is not too deep, or  too shallow. 

Do not prune the tree excessively, leaving less than two thirds of the crown,  and trim the lower branches off, so the tree can not make enough food to survive. 

While preparing the site for the young tree, do not leave it in the hot sun so the leaves and root ball dry out. 

Remove the wire, treated cloth, or synthetic burlap on the root ball so growth is not prevented.  

Plant the tree away from a downspout or other water source to insure that it will not get too  much water. 

Do not wrap the trunk to constrict growth, encourage bark rot, and provide a home for disease and insects. 

Do not use gravel as fill around the ball to collect water and drown the roots. 

Do not use sharp guy wires to cut and girdle the trunk. 

Make sure tree is not positioned to close to a building, consider how big the tree  will grow. 


Develop a path or picnic area away from the tree to assure that the soil is not fully compacted. 

Park trucks and heavy equipment away from the tree. 

Do not change the landscape near an established tree, such as cutting trees that have provided shade, and give it a sudden exposure to the sun. 

Do not construct a sidewalk, driveway, or patio over the roots or add “fill dirt” around trees.  It changes the oxygen ratio and kills roots. 

Avoid Inflicting wounds to the bark, by hitting it with equipment , a truck, or a car. 

Avoid damage to roots by trenching to run a line for gas, water, sewer, or electricity. 

Do not disrupt the top six inches of soil around a tree.  This will kill the feeder roots. 


Spread herbicides away from trees and refrain from injecting with chemicals and fertilizers.  Avoid excessive salt use under trees in winter . 

Do not pile excessive mulch which encourages rodent damage, bark and root rot, and deprives the roots of oxygen. 

Using a non-porous plastic sheet under mulch, will  raise the soil temperature, depriving the tree of moisture, and making a home for insects and fungi. 

Prune.  Do not leave dead or dying branches and those infected with disease or insects to encourage more destruction. 

Prune dead limbs flush to the trunk and branches to reduce wound closure and provide an entrance for disease and insects. 

Do not coat pruning and other cuts with paint, tar, or other sealer it slows healing and provides a home for fungi and insects. 

Make sure tree has a source of carbon by raking all leaves away, and not replace with compost which can decompose for food. 

Fertilizing tree with only the recommended amount. 

Do not plant flowers and grass around the tree, and raise the level of soil six or more inches. 

Be cautious while mowing as not to repeatedly strike the tree with a mower and “girdle” it around the trunk.

Do not “top” a tree, by cutting back the upper limbs to reduce height.  This leaves stubs with a open path for decay.  It promotes sun burn, cankers, bark splitting, and death of some branches.