Over winter break, The Care of Trees removed 22 Ash trees from Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus, due to the Emerald Ash Borer. The trees were pulverized into mulch and will be reused on campus, as doing so will conserve soil moisture, impede weed growth, reduce soil erosion, limit salt build-up, protect plant roots from traffic, moderate soil temperatures, and improve soil fertility and structure.
Environmental Sustainability Associate and Sustainability student, Mary Rasic, is presently working with arborist and landscape expert, Bill Bedrossian, to select native replacements for many of the removed trees. Roosevelt plans to purchase various replacements from Possibility Place Nursery, because they specialize in growing native trees and shrubs that are indigenous to Northern Illinois. Ninety percent of their plants’ seed are collected in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa; therefore, they are better adapted to the Chicago climate than plants grown from seed collected further east and south.
Possibility Place Nursery does not use chemicals (such as copper), insecticides, miticides, or fungicide sprays. They do use post- and pre- emergent herbicides and organic fertilizers. After seeds are collected, they are taken through several growing steps in a system that encourages fibrous roots. Seeds are put in flats with wire bottoms, and then placed on benches with wire tops. As the seed germinates, the roots grow through the wire into air. The root tips dry out and die. This encourages the production of more roots. The seedling is then placed in half pints that mechanically direct the roots toward air holes. Roots grow through the air holes, and the root tips again dry out and die. Finally, the plants in half pints are then planted in gallon containers to repeat the process again. A fibrous root system is key to the establishment of vigorous growth of a plant. A tree or shrub with a fibrous root system not only transplants well but thrives.