Woodridge tornado reforestation efforts to include Morton Arboretum tree donations

WOODRIDGE – The village of Woodridge, a Tree City USA Community for more than 30 years, is partnering with The Morton Arboretum in reforestation efforts related to the June 20 tornado.

This week, The Morton Arboretum announced it would donate up to 100 trees to Woodridge homeowners, one tree per address impacted by the tornado, a news release stated.

The Morton Arboretum asks that tornado-impacted Woodridge homeowners complete The Morton Arboretum Tornado Recovery Tree Request Form, and attest that they lost a tree because of the tornado. The trees are being given on a first-come basis, and residents will learn in October if they will receive a tree for pickup in spring 2022. The Morton Arboretum will donate the trees as part of its Centennial Tree Planting Initiative to plant 1,000 trees in the Chicago area in 2022.

During the initial phase of the debris cleanup, the village planned ways to replace the more than 300 parkway trees that the tornado destroyed, and assist residents with their reforestation efforts. Woodridge continues to work on reforestation through the following activities:

  • Parkway Tree Stump Removal – The village is completing a bid for stump grinding of the trees that were lost, and the mayor and board will consider the approval of the contract for the work at the Aug. 19 board meeting. Work would be anticipated to start in September.
  • Parkway Tree Assessment – Village consultant Davey Tree began a re-inventory of the tornado-impacted zone on Aug. 9, to assess the remaining parkway trees for potential health concerns, and to confirm the species of the trees that were lost and potential spaces for replanting.
  • Parkway Tree Replanting – The village will begin replacement with the planting of new parkway trees in the fall with additional trees planned for 2022, as different species of trees have different seasons that are recommended for planting.
  • Private Property Tree Replanting – The village has been in discussions with The Morton Arboretum, the national Arbor Day Foundation, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, among other agencies, in how to help support replanting of trees on private property, as well. In upcoming budget meetings, the mayor and village board also will discuss an allocation of additional funds for the 2022 budget year to help financially support impacted residents.

For residents who are going to move forward with planting new trees on their property right away, The Morton Arboretum has resources residents can review regarding appropriate species selection, as well as proper planting guidance at mortonarb.org. Before digging, always make sure to call JULIE at 811 to make sure there are no underground utilities in the area you plan to dig.

“Trees help to make us healthier, happier, and our neighborhoods more beautiful,” Woodridge Mayor Gina Cunningham stated in the release. “I encourage those impacted by the tornado to complete The Morton Arboretum’s Tornado Recovery Tree Request Form. Through our reforestation efforts, our commitment to a beautiful, tree-filled Woodridge will continue to be evident – now and into the future.”