Riverside trustees on Oct. 3 voted to pay Possibility Place Nursery $9,000 to grow 100 trees from seed.
While the village routinely buys trees through the West Suburban Tree Consortium as part of its 50/50 tree planting program, this marks the first time that the village has requested specific native species be grown from seed in order to be planted on public land years from now.
Among the trees to be grown from seed are 25 each of butternut hickory, prairie crabapple, yellowwood and tulip trees. They will be planted in the village once their trunks measure 1.5 inches in diameter, which is the standard for the village. It’s estimated to take seven years before the trees can be planted.
“These trees are trees that aren’t readily available from other sources,” said Trustee James Reynolds. “One of the reasons that we’ve asked Possibility Place to grow these trees is so we will have native stock that is indigenous to this area, and also that they will be grown in the proper methods, so once they are transplanted we’ll have a high success rate with them.
Trustee Lonnie Sacchi said the particular species were chosen because they are understory trees, which are in shorter supply than the taller canopy trees in the village.
The understory trees are needed, Sacchi said “to achieve the layered effect” of the landscape Frederick Law Olmsted envisioned for the community.
Riverside will pay the entire cost for growing the trees upfront, said Reynolds, “because to get any nursery to start trees from seed is a pretty expensive process … and they have to tend these trees over that time period.”
Trustee Joseph Ballerine commented, “I sure hope they are in business seven years from now.”
Possibility Place is a Monee-based nursery, which, according to its website, has been in business since 1978.
North Riverside planting 50 new trees
For the first time since 2008, North Riverside is planting new trees on its public parkways. Public works crews were out last week and will continue the job this week, planting about 50 new specimens.
Public Works Director Tim Kutt said the trees were purchased from two area nurseries, Hinsdale Nursery and Possibility Place Nursery, which is located in Monee. The village budgeted $10,000 for tree planting in 2011.
“Over the last 10 years, we’ve planted probably 1,000 trees,” said Kutt, who added that the village has an inventory of about 5,000 trees on the public right of way.
“We only deal with nurseries that have compatible soils and grow native stock.”
According to Kutt, the North Riverside Garden Club is instrumental in providing recommendations for tree species to be planted.
“They set up a couple of fields trips and go out to the nurseries and look at the stock,” said Kutt, who makes the final decision on what to order based on those recommendations, and gets bids from the various nurseries being considered.
From Hinsdale Nursery, the village chose to buy three species – gingko, lilac trees and bald cypress. Possibility Place will be providing swamp white oak and chinkapin oak specimens.
Trees are planted on public parkways in front of homes whose owners have requested them from the village.