Tree Body of Palos Park
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SUMMER TREE CARE TIPS

The warm and wet spring which has led us into early summer has quickly awoken our community’s sleeping trees and shrubs from their winter hibernation. The Village’s various species of trees and shrubs have quickly budded and leafed out and brightly greened our rural forest community. Flowering crab apples and red buds are starting to turn from their delightfully bright springtime colors to lush green leaflets. Dogwoods and magnolias have dropped their wonderful spring flowers and have filled their branches in nicely with their green summer attire.

Last summer’s drought severely impacted the vigor and health of our community’s trees and shrubs. The extended periods of extreme hot and dry weather weakened the immune systems of many species of trees in our community, opening them up to the possible invasion of pests, diseases and even sudden death. Residents worked very hard to water and care for stressed trees and shrubs during the drought’s harshest periods. Although the last drought may be over and this summer may or may not pose another drought, it’s important to practice some basic tree care habits to ensure the vigor and health of your trees and shrubs.

  • Apply a 2” to 4” layer of organic or inorganic mulch around the drip line of the tree. This layer of mulch helps the important fibrous roots of a tree establish a good relationship between a tree’s root system and fungi organisms that greatly help a tree’s ability to transfer essential water and minerals. Please remember not to pile mulch directly on the trunk of a tree. If residents would like free wood chips from our chipping program, contact the Village garage at 708-923-7170.
  • Larger established trees need a minimum of 200 to 250 gallons of water every week. A garden hose attached with a rotating sprinkler or a soaker hose should be placed under the tree’s drip line. Running the sprinkler approximately 20 minutes results in the suggested 250 gallons of water.
  • Newly planted trees or young trees (1 to 3 years) need approximately 1” to 2” of water per week (which is the equivalent to 10 to 20 gallons).
  • Avoid damaging the base of the tree with a weed-whacker or lawn mower. Damage to the outside bark of a tree can lead to insect or disease invasion, especially during the summer months.
  • Dead wood can be pruned from a tree any time of year. Closely monitor your trees for signs of decline. If residents are worried about the health of their tree, a certified arborist should be contacted for a suggested treatment.