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Friday, September 5, 2008

Most oaks in area are at least 160 years old

If trees were royalty, oaks would be kings in our American landscape. Their strength, beauty and adaptability make them revered in our history and lore. The oak is our national tree, after all. The white oak is Illinois' official state tree.

Many people, however, don't like to plant oaks.

"Homeowners often choose other trees because they think that oaks grow too slowly. That is a myth," said Doris Taylor, plant information specialist at The Morton Arboretum. A young oak grows at a good pace, about a foot a year, according to Taylor.

"Give oaks a chance," said Taylor. "You may be first on your block to plant one!"

Oaks great benefits to planting oaks. They make beautiful shade trees, with their distinct lobed leaves, acorns and red fall color. They are long-lived and suffer less damage from high winds than other trees. Plus, diversifying your landscape with a wider variety of trees can prevent a new disease or pest from wiping out whole blocks of trees, like what's happened to elms and ashes.

Read on

The painting is by Laura Tasheiko

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