Northbrook has always been known as a community who takes pride in its trees. Our streets are lined by beautiful mature trees, especially now in their fall glory. Our Village assesses heavy fines for the removal of our trees. However, no amount of financial penalties or permit fees can make up for the loss of those trees.
The latest research has been showing that, aside from eliminating fossil fuels, planting trees may be the best approach to combatting climate change. Through the natural process of photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2 and emit oxygen. One mature tree can absorb an average of 48 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Tree roots spread wide and deep absorbing storm water. It is estimated that one trillion additional trees need to be planted in order to stem climate change.
With the rapidly growing population of the world, deforestation is rampant. Forested areas on the planet are in significant decrease. Locally, Emerald ash borers and Dutch Elm disease devastate our mature trees. It might seem like a losing battle, but healthy campaigns are being fought everywhere. In July of 2019, Ethiopia planted 350 million trees in one day according to a government minister. Their ultimate goal is to plant 4 billion trees during the 2019 rainy season. In 2007, New York City launched a campaign to plant one million trees in the city. Locally, farmers’ markets in both Deerfield and Glenview participated in tree giveaway days. “Go Green Deerfield” has announced the Tree Canopy Challenge to plant 2500 trees by the year 2025.
Northbrook’s Earth Day has always been a good starting point for tree giveaways. However, that is not enough. According to the Morton Arboretum Urban Forest Summary, Northbrook has only a 30% tree canopy, while Deerfield, Highland Park, Glencoe, and Northfield all have 40% or more. We need to take a long look at how everyone here in Northbrook, Village, residents, commercial enterprises, can all work together to protect and increase this amazing natural resource, the simple tree. Do you know of an open spot that could give a tree a home?