The Village of Oswego is proud to be a Tree City USA! The Arbor Day Foundation has honored Oswego as a Tree City USA every year since 1993. The Village meets the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
Trees in the parkway are owned by the Village of Oswego. The parkway is generally defined as the area between the curb and sidewalk. There are more than 16,500 trees in the parkway so the Village asks residents to help maintain the trees by watering during extended dry spells and doing light pruning to keep sidewalks clear.
Privately Owned Trees
Trees that are located on privately owned property not in the parkway are the responsibility of the property owner. The Village's arborist can sometimes advise residents on the proper care of privately owned trees, however, Village crews do not provide any trimming or removal services for privately owned trees. These services must be done at the owner's expense.
Parkway Tree Inspections
Trees are regularly inspected by a village arborist. The arborist is looking for cracks in the trunk, broken or hanging branches, obstruction of streets and sidewalks and clear site of street signs. The arborist is also inspecting for signs of disease or insect infestation. At the same time we are checking for dead or dying trees that need to be removed. Contact the Public Works office at 630-554-3242 with any concerns you may have regarding your parkway tree.
Parkway Tree Pruning
Pruning improves the health of trees, increases their lifespan, and clears obstructed views in roadways and other safety hazards. The Village of Oswego is currently on a five-year pruning cycle for parkway trees. Once staff completes trimming in a neighborhood, those trees will be pruned again in approximately another five years. Residents with concerns about a specific parkway tree in need of maintenance prior to the next scheduled trimming can call the Public Works office at 630-554-3242. The Village will send a staff member out to inspect the tree for needed maintenance.
During routine pruning, certified and trained staff go through a designated subdivision and prune all parkway trees to a height that will allow traffic flow, including sufficient clearance for snow plows and garbage trucks, signs, bikes and pedestrians. Staff is trained according to the National Pruning Standards, and will remove damaged branches and continue around the tree to make it uniform and healthy.
Be advised that this is a newer service provided by the Village and as a resulte some trees have never been pruned. When pruned, these trees will initially appear overpruned. This is because the branches in need of removal are larger than those of a younger tree. Staff only removes branches that must be removed for safety or for the health of the tree.
For further information or questions please contact the Public Works office at 630-554-3242.
Private Tree Pruning
Residents are responsible for pruning trees located on privately owned property not in the parkway. Learn more about proper tree pruning technique with this guide from the Arbor Day Foundation.
Parkway 50/50 Tree Replacement Program
Due to the large number of Ash trees removed in the past few years, there is currently a backlog to replace trees. The Village generally replaces trees in the order they were removed. The backlog was approximately three years as of June 2016. The Village choses the tree species suitable for installation within the right-of-way with an eye towards species diversity. If you are a homeowner and your tree was removed because of the Emerald Ash Borer or for any other reason, you may choose to participate in the 50/50 Tree Replacement Program. This program allows homeowners to select the species of the tree from a list provided by the village and be advanced to the top of the replacement list.
If you choose to participate in the 50/50 Tree Replacement Program you will be responsible for half of the cost of the tree, which is purchased wholesale by the Village. You are not charged for the removal, the stump grinding or the planting. Contact the Public Works office at 630-554-3242 to sign up for this program.
The Village plants trees in the spring and fall. No trees are planted between June 15 and September 15 due to summer heat.