Riverwoods Preservation Council

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In Our Own Backyard - Chapter 9 Extract

BerriesThroughout this guide, we've referred to the unique ambiance of our community and suggested ways in which we may each contribute to the restoration and preservation of our very special environment. Of particular significance are our woodlands. And of the woodland trees, most important are the towering oaks, symbolic of enduring strength and designated as both the National Tree and our State Tree. Unfortunately, the oaks in our area are being choked out not only by buckthorn, but also by the faster growing maples and ash, which tolerate more shade and block much of the sunlight that allows oak saplings to regenerate and grow.

Because our woods are such an important resource, the Village has become increasingly proactive in overseeing tree management. Permits and the Village Forester's approval, are required for any tree removal, including dead ones. If the removal of healthy trees is authorized, the property owner will be required to pay fees, based on the size of each tree, as well as to replace the removed trees. To further enhance our woodland, the Village provides matching fund incentives for the removal of invasives and the reforestation with desirable trees.

BeechAdditional hazards to trees are most frequently encountered during pruning and construction. To avoid incorrect pruning that may injure or destroy a tree, anything but very minor trimming should be performed by a certified arborist. As for problems associated with construction and remodeling, it is wise to protect any trees in the area before beginning the project. Again, consult a qualified arborist to determine whether pruning, deep root feeding or other measures are appropriate to limit any trauma resulting from the construction. Building a plywood fence around the tree may help save the trunk and base from injury. However, the entire root system may be damaged if the earth surrounding the tree is compacted. Make every possible effort (first by instructing the contractor and then by being constantly watchful) to keep heavy machinery, building materials, displaced earth, and construction debris as far from the trees as possible. Remember that tree damage is generally not apparent for three to five years after an injury. By the time trees show injury, significant decline in health has occurred and the tree may be irreparably and mortally injured.

IronwoodIn 2005, in a further effort to protect existing woodlands, the Village enacted the Woodland Protection Ordinance that prohibits more than a 30% reduction of woodland (including trees, bushes, and ground cover) existing on any given lot. The baseline of existing woods is established as of the date of ordinance enactment....

[In Our Own Backyard includes recommendations concerning salt usage on roads, driveways and walks; on mulch types - both organic and inorganic; and on mulch usage.]

© Riverwoods Preservation Council- - Page last updated: December 2009