Public Works - Forestry Division FAQs

Does the Village prune the parkway tree in front of my home? Yes. The Village maintains all trees on public parkways. Each parkway tree is pruned every five to seven years during winter months from November through March. This work is performed by a qualified contractor. Trees are pruned in order to remove hazardous deadwood, eliminate interference with low limbs, clear stop signs, street lights and buildings, reduce the effects of wind and ice on branch stability and repair storm damaged limbs. Parkway tree pruning is vital for the continued growth and health of a tree.

Does the Village have a parkway tree planting program? Yes. Residents with an open planting space on their parkway are invited to contribute to the Village's urban forest by planting a new tree in their parkway. The Village pays 50% of the costs to plant a new tree. The homeowner may select from a list of suitable parkway trees that are offered for both the fall and spring planting seasons. For more information or to obtain an application for the Cost Share Parkway Tree Planting Program, please click here.

Is Dutch Elm Disease active in Skokie? Yes. Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is an aggressive pathogen that kills trees and is considered the most costly shade-tree disease. Unfortunately, the disease is still active in Skokie because there are still more than 400 susceptible parkway elms. The good news is that DED can be managed so that minimal trees are impacted. The removal of infected or dead elm wood is the most important control of DED. Elm bark beetles that spread the disease breed in this old wood. If you spot an American elm that is losing its leaves, wilting or turning yellow well before the fall, please call the Forestry Division.

Does the Village provide any cost sharing to treat Dutch Elm Disease?  Yes. The Village provides a 50/50 cost share fungicide treatment program for parkway elms to help control the disease. Residents who have an American elm are eligible to participate in this program. The treatment consists of injecting a liquid fungicide into the water-conducting tissue of the tree. It has a very good success rate in preventing DED infection from the feeding of elm bark beetles for up to three years. After three years, the tree must be retreated for continued protection from DED. Residents with a private elm may contact the Village's contractor to have their tree treated for the same cost.

What is the Village doing to control the Emerald Ash Borer? In summer 2006, the destructive insect was found in several nearby towns, and Skokie is in the quarantine area established by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). In April 2007, the IDOA confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer in a tree at Crawford and Grant Avenues in northeast Skokie. Skokie has approximately 3,000 ash trees, representing 12% of the Village's 24,000 trees growing on public property. Each year, Village foresters perform a systematic survey of all parkway ash trees. Those determined to be in poor condition or with evidence of emerald ash borer infestation are marked with white paint for removal. Residents are notified if a tree on their parkway will be removed. The Village does not offer financial assistance for the removal of trees on private property. Residents concerned about an ash tree on their property are encouraged to call an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist who has signed the "Emerald Ash Borer Compliance Agreement" with the IDOA.

How often should I water my trees during dry periods? If you have a new or young tree in your parkway or on your property, keep it healthy by watering it during dry periods. New trees need about one inch of rain per week to become established. If they do not receive this rain, provide a deep soak by gently running the hose at the base of the tree for about an hour. Maintaining a ring of mulch around the base of the tree two to three inches deep will keep the soil moist longer. However, do NOT pile or place mulch against the trunk of the tree; this will cause the bark to rot and decay, which will eventually kill the tree.