Too many of the same trees are planted across our community. When too many of the same tree are planted, the result can be devastating to neighborhoods affected by tree pests or disease because few mature trees will remain.
Most of us are familiar with how beautiful Ash Trees had to be cut down in our neighborhoods because of the Emerald Ash Borer. To prevent this from happening again, we need to plant a more diverse mix of different trees on our lots, in our neighborhoods and in our parks.
As a homeowner, you can make a difference by not planting the same tree as your neighbor! Look around. Do you see the same tree? Then pick another.
Tree Diversity at the Park District
At the Plainfield Park District, we use the 10-20-30 Rule for Tree Diversity in the parks. No more than 10% of all the trees in a single species (exp-Quercus rubra, Red Oak), no more than 20% of all trees in a genus (exp-all Quercus, Oaks) and no more than 30% of a single plant family (exp-Fagaceae Family that includes Beech, Oaks and Chestnuts).
Not only do trees add value to increase our property value they also provide the following benefits and ecosystem services:
- Tree shade regulates temperatures- shade can lower heat by 20 degrees
- Capturing an average of 2,380 gallons of water in a rainstorm to prevent flooding
- Sheltering homes from the effects of wind and saving on energy bills
- Filtering pollution from the air
- Sequestering carbon from the atmosphere
- Providing support to pollinating beneficial insects
- Trees are beautiful to simply look at
- Holding soil in place and preventing erosion
- May be a source for recreation
- Native trees support many of our local wildlife and birds,
- Native oaks support 2300 species consisting of 38 bird species, 229 bryophytes, 108 fungi, 1178 invertebrates, 716 lichens and 31 mammals