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The Plant Trees Digital Campaign

Plant trees to cool and save energyPlant trees to improve health and well-being


The Chicago region has lost more than 13 million trees in recent years due to pests, disease, and inclement weather, and 30 percent of the region’s trees are invasive species. The Chicago region needs its citizens and homeowners to help restore the crucial benefits lost with these trees. 

Below are useful tips and resources on the scientifically proven benefits of trees, how to plant a tree, and how to care for your new tree. You can also search all of CRTI’s resources through our search engine.

To participate in the digital campaign, click here.

The Benefits of Trees

Trees do amazing things for our health and comfort. Trees clean the air and water, help manage stormwater, help cool and save energy, improve property values, create habitat for wildlife, and provide significant social and health benefits. In short, trees improve quality of life. 

Want to learn more? Here are a few resources that discuss the benefits of trees, supported by science:

How to Plant Trees

If you want help planting a tree, CRTI can connect you with professionals who can provide advice or assistance. If you want to do it yourself, there are many resources available to guide you from start to finish, including The Morton Arboretum’s Horticulture Care, Plant Clinic and YouTube Videos

Planting a tree can be broken down into these 5 steps:

Step 1: Assess your site

The best way to ensure a long-lived tree is to plant one adapted to your existing site conditions. Check out this list of considerations compiled by the University of Illinois Extension.

Step 2: Pick the right tree 

Consider planting a native, resilient tree. The Morton Arboretum’s Northern Illinois Tree Selector is great for identifying the right tree for your site, whether your focus is native trees, street trees, evergreens, fall color, or other exciting possibilities. Large, shady trees planted in the right place can help cool your home and reduce energy costs.

Step 3: Find your tree

Visit our Nursery Tree Inventory to find nurseries carrying the right tree. Keep an eye out for seasonal events.

Step 4: Plant it correctly

View The Morton Arboretum’s guide to planting trees. 

Step 5: Care for your young tree 

Proper care, including necessary watering and mulching, is especially important in the establishment phase.


How to Care for Trees

Below are several resources that will help you turn your new sapling into a strong, resilient adult tree.

The Morton Arboretum’s Plant Clinic

The Morton Arboretum's Plant Clinic helps homeowners, gardeners and landscape professionals throughout the Chicago region and the world have healthy, attractive, well-chosen plants. Trained staff and volunteers are available by phone or by e-mail to help with tree and plant selection, identifying and coping with pests and diseases, and other concerns.

Caring for Trees with Openlands

Learn about the many ways you can help care for the region's urban forest, including joining TreeKeepers, applying for grants, volunteer opportunities, and more.

Illinois Green Industry Association's Tree Care Articles

These articles provide quick tips and easy to understand information about planting, protecting, and caring for trees and more from leading industry experts.

Choosing an Arborist

The Morton Arboretum provides tips for choosing an arborist who is best qualified for the job. Advice includes receiving multiple estimates, noticing how the company presents themselves, and looking for credentials and professional association membership.

Cómo Podar Árboles

Información sobre podar árboles incluyendo razones, métodos, cortes de poda, cuándo podar, un glosario y más. Proporcionado por USDA Forest Service.

Mulching Trees and Shrubs

A guide from The Morton Arboretum about properly mulching a tree, including what mulch material to use, examples of organic mulch, and how to apply mulch. 

How to Not Kill Your Tree

This horticulture webinar from the University of Illinois Extension presents the basic guidelines for the planting and care of trees and how to avoid common mistakes.

Plant trees to strengthen communitiesPlant trees for nature