Tree Programs/Tree Care

arbor day_11zonThe Village of Glencoe is a residential lakefront community in New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois. Ten thousand years ago, glacial action carved the bluff-edged landscape and large ravines that drain eastern Glencoe to Lake Michigan. The eastern two-thirds of the Village was predominately covered by oak trees, whereas the western portion was a mix of prairie and wetlands. Taking a look around Glencoe you can still see the vestige of original landscape and topography. The urban forest we preserve today in our community makes it a better place to live 

Learn More: Tree Programs/Tree Care

About Watering Your Trees
A sprinkler system works well for grass and flowers, but offers little benefit to trees. Studies show that grass needs about 1-inch of rainfall or watering per month to remain healthy. Trees, on the other hand, need 1-inch of water per week to maintain proper health. Young trees, trees that have been planted within the last two or three years, need even more frequent regular watering because their root systems are still establishing themselves. Placing a slow trickling garden hose near the base of your tree for a 2-3 hour watering a couple of times each week, will go a long way in helping your tree survive hot, dry summer days. Watering bags, also known as TreeGators, are available at some garden centers and nurseries. A TreeGator, zipped around the trunk of a small tree holds 20-25 gallons of water and allows for slow seepage from the bottom of the bag over an extended period of time. All new trees planted on public property by the Village, get a TreeGator bag installed around it for the first growing season. Lack of water can kill newly planted trees and bushes in just one season. Lack of water can also stress established trees making them more susceptible to diseases or insect infestation.
ComEd Tree Trimming
Trimming around electric transmission lines is something that needs to be done to insure reliable electric service. Trees in close proximity to overhead power lines are trimmed back by a ComEd contractor every four to five years. Depending on the species of the tree and the amount of interference with the utilities, this maintenance trimming by ComEd can cause the tree in question to be “over” pruned, thus losing it’s natural form and visual appeal. If you have a tree on your parkway that has been "over" pruned by ComEd, contact the Village Forestry Supervisor to evaluate its removal and re-planting with a species better suited for that location.
Cyclical Tree Trimming
The Village’s Forestry Division performs cyclical trimming throughout the Village on a rotational basis, generally over a 5 to 7 year period. Tree trimming is an essential part of maintaining a trees overall health. Village crews perform this work in a safe and professional manner to safeguard tree health and to eliminate potential hazards to people and property. 

Cyclical trimming provides the following benefits:

  • Eliminates branches that are dead or dying. These branches are often dangerous, and removing them reduces the risk of harm to people and damage to property. It also prevents further decay.
  • Improves the overall appearance and structure of the tree, keeping it from developing broad or weak branches. Trimming prevents limbs from growing with weak crotches, or eventually crossing each other and competing for space in the crown.
  • Increases sun exposure and air circulation throughout the tree and underlying landscape, which will improve the tree’s health and surrounding plant materials.
  • Helps prevent damage to nearby overhead utilities. Branches that get intertwined with overhead utility lines can cause power outages or disrupt communications (cable television, internet, phone).
  • Tree trimming can also simply open up your property and improve your view.
Dutch Elm Disease
Dutch Elm Disease symptoms are the result of a fungus infecting the vascular (water conducting) system of the tree. Infection by the fungus results in clogging of vascular tissues, preventing water movement to the crown and causing visual symptoms as the tree wilts and dies. Trees of all species and varieties of elm affected with the fungus Ceratostomella Ulmi, as determined by laboratory analysis, are declared a public nuisance.  To learn about the Village's Dutch Elm Disease Ordinance, please click here.
Illinois Big Tree Register
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources initiated the Illinois Big Tree Register in 1962 to appreciate, discover, and record the largest native tree species in the state.  To learn more about the Register, please click here.
Private Property Replacement Tree Plantings
To receive a full refund of your tree removal deposit you must plant the total diameter inches of tress that were removed within one year of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy.  You need only submit a copy of the plat of survey indicating with colored dots the new tree locations.  Tree type and size need not be shown.

You can select any tree variety except those noted below for non-heritage tree replacements providing they have a minimum of three inches in diameter.  

If you removed the following heritage-type trees then replacements must be a minimum of three inches in diameter: American elm, American linden, walnut, buckeye, catalpa, hackberry, hickory, ironwood, maples (except silver and Norway), oak, Osage orange, spruce, sycamore, and white pine.  For a planting credit, evergreen tree diameters would be measured about 6 inches above grade.  

The following tree types are NOT credited for the replanting deposit refund: Juniper, Arborvitae, box elder, cottonwood, mulberry, poplar, tree of heaven, and willow.  Multi-stem trees are not acceptable unless each individual leader is 3 inches in diameter.  As an example, a multi-stem tree with three leaders, one at 3 inches in diameter and the other two at 3 inches in diameter would receive only a 3 inch planting credit.
Proper Mulching Around Your Trees
Placing mulch rings around your trees have three major benefits to your plants overall health.  The mulch allows the soil around your tree to retain moisture longer, which allows the tree to have more water available. As the mulch bio-degrades, it puts nutrients back into the soil around the tree. The mulch ring provides a "safety zone" around the tree to protect it against lawn mowers and weed eaters, which can easily injure young tree bark.

Mulch must be installed properly around the tree or it can do as much harm as good to your tree. The depth of your mulch should be between 3 and 4 inches and taper down to almost nothing as it gets next to the trunk of the tree.  The trunk of the tree should remain clear of mulch and dirt to the point where it grew out of the soil.  If the mulch is piled against the trunk, what we refer to as a mulch volcano, it can cause pest and fungal problems in the plant.

Piling mulch, soil or decorative stones against the trunk of your tree may provide a nice appearances, but it can cause long term health problems for your tree.
Society of Municipal Arborists Accreditation
The Village of Glencoe is accredited by the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA).  SMA Accreditation is the highest honor for municipal urban forestry programs, obtained by following a professional approach to tree care.  SMA Accredited programs have a certified municipal specialist on staff, have an approved Local Forester Master Plan, are Tree City USA growth award recipients, show private contract preference for accredited tree care companies, adhere to industry standards for safety and performance, and adhere to SMA's Code of Ethics.
Tree City USA
11zon_tree-city-logoGlencoe has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation for more than 30 years. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. To become a Tree City USA, a community must meet four standards: a tree board or department, a city tree ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.
Tree Preservation Ordinance
The purpose of a Tree Preservation Ordinance is to protect, preserve, and enhance the forested character and natural resources of the Village.  The Village finds that the presence of trees in the Village improves air quality, conserves energy, provides wildlife habitat, reduces soil erosion, and preserves and enhances property values in the Village and its environs.  The policy of the Village is to balance the private property rights of landowners with the public health, safety and welfare that is promoted by the existence and maintenance of trees in the Village.  To read the ordinance, please click here.
Tree Removal Information
The Village requires that homeowners and developers submit Tree Removal Permits for any tree 8 inches or greater in diameter. Click here for the Tree Removal Permit.