Life-giving trees need our care, attention

Updated 8/17/2018 5:34 PM

My purpose in writing to you is to hopefully precipitate action by Illinois cities to please take care of our town, village and city trees in Illinois by, at minimum, watering them when summer droughts hit.

Please remember that trees are the foot soldiers of our planet for fighting global warming. Think of trees as very large sticks of sequestered carbon, because that is what they are. Only ocean algae blooms put more oxygen into earth's atmosphere than plant life, especially trees.


Our trees in many suburbs were already stressed (dropping leaves or pine cones profusely) by a very dry July. Now August isn't much better.

Think about biology class, when we learned that trees extract carbon from the air and via photosynthesis supply nutrients they need. Then they give off oxygen that we mammals breathe. A tree is a large factory that sequesters carbon out of the air and gives off oxygen.

Trees can't ask us for help when they need it, but we must learn to recognize when they are stressed. Then we must help.

In 2012, we had a big drought. But a large tree with deep roots doesn't croak fast. Search your village records to see how much money you spent cutting down village trees in 2013, 2014 or 2015 that finally succumbed to that 2012 summer drought. Then consider how much it would have cost to give those trees 150 to 200 gallons of water to keep their carbon trapping/oxygen manufacturing factory operating?

Trees also help retain water when rain or snows come. They shade homes lowering A/C costs. They keep soil from washing away. They provide homes for birds and other animals, and it's nice to have picnic lunch under them on a hot summer day.

Jim Peterson

Hoffman Estates

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