Here's a cost-saving measure for the village of Oak Park, and it's a real crowd-pleaser. Let's take a 3- to 5-year moratorium on the removal/replant craze that has overtaken Oak Park Forestry since Dutch Elm disease came to town.
I write this as the last elm tree on my block — nearly 100 years old — is being chopped and loaded onto a truck. The VOP employee I spoke with sees this as an eco-victory. His department continues to change the treescape with varieties of their own choosing, eliminating problems. They take pride in the new tableau they are creating. They appeal to the altruism of complainers by suggesting that your toxic tree will take out the elm on LeMoyne.
Guess what? The village took out both trees! We should support this why? So future Oak Parkers can enjoy the shade in 10 or 20 years? But I live here now and part of my hefty taxes go to support what I consider overzealousness. This constant cutting is the "repeal and replace" of not just the trees, but the microclimates above and around people's homes, and the visual character of our neighborhoods.
Granted, there are parts of Oak Park that still enjoy the benefit of towering old trees, like the estate section and parts of south Oak Park. But the 1000 block of Grove, like a lot of north Oak Park, is forever changed.
Stop the madness! Have an outside party inventory Oak Park's trees (yes, again) as to type, location and condition. Let's get a second opinion. Let's cut back on the dreaded white dots that mark our trees for doom.
Answer Book 2017
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