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.
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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:
- The Scientific Benefits of Trees: A Literature Review
- University of Washington, Livable Cities: Green Health
- Benefits of Trees and Urban Forests: A Research List
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
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 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.
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.
These articles provide quick tips and easy to understand information about planting, protecting, and caring for trees and more from leading industry experts.
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.
Información sobre podar árboles incluyendo razones, métodos, cortes de poda, cuándo podar, un glosario y más. Proporcionado por USDA Forest Service.
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.
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.