Survey lists nearly 2,000 trees in H-F parks

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District inventoried 1,893 trees in 2018 when it undertook a study of the tree population at 31 of its parks and properties.
  A recent inventory of H-F
  Parks marked the location,
  species and size of nearly
  2,000 trees.


Parks employees Mauricio Morales and Gabe Gacsko walked the parks and measured every tree in the district, except Irons Oaks, Coyote Run and the parks department office site, to complete an accurate inventory, according to Doug Boehm, superintendent of parks and planning.

The pair’s report marked every tree location, species and size, the number of trees removed since the last inventory in 2010, and gave notes they made during inspections. All trees were tagged and numbered, except for the newly planted trees that get numbered after three or four years of growth.


The plan is for the inventory to be a “working document that will be updated every fall or winter” to provide the district with accurate data on how the various tree species are doing in the parks, Boehm told park commissioners in April.

“We need as many trees as we can get in our park system, the benefits of trees are amazing,” Boehm said.
Apollo Park had the highest tree population with a count of 185; Dolphin Lake has 123; Irwin Park has 134; Patriots Park has 133; and Woodborough Park has 125.

  Willow School students helped
  plant a tree during a 2018
  Arbor Day celebration at
  Indian Trails Park in Homewood.
(Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

The emerald ash borer decimated the ash tree population, although Boehm said the surveyors found 29 healthy ash trees on park property. Since 2010, parks crews have removed 270 trees, the majority of those were ash trees.
There now is no single dominant species in the parks.
“We are pretty diverse, which is what we want moving forward in case of another disease issue,” Boehm emphasized. He said crews are watching the maple population which is in distress, and fir and pine trees “have been in shock” and are also being watched closely.
“We can’t necessarily associate size with age,” Boehm said.  “However, we believe there are several that are older than others. The willow trees on the north side of Patriots Park, there is a very wide and tall cotton wood at Hollydale and a black oak in Flossmoor Park towards the Hobo Jungle location are very old.”
Boehm said while park crews took down on average 30 trees each year the past eight years, only nine trees per year were planted. He encourages gifts in the name of someone to the tree memorial program or direct donations for trees.

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