With the recent ravage of the Emerald Ash Borer across the Chicagoland area, homeowners and landowners are left wondering how to fill the open areas in the landscape. Many Chicago villages have plans in place for trees located in parkways, but removed Ash trees on a homeowner’s property are usually the homeowner’s responsibility.
There are wonderful tree selections that are excellent candidates as Ash tree replacements. Before selecting a new tree, carefully evaluate the location. Determine the amount of sun and wind the area receives and the condition of the soil. Also, decide on the ideal mature tree size, whether flowers are desirable and the preferred tree branching pattern. These questions help determine the perfect tree to replace a removed Ash tree. Click here for a list of trees recommended specifically for northern Illinois, which includes most of the Chicago area. A few suggestions include:
- The Northern Catalpa ultimately grows 50 to 80 feet and has an oval or irregular tree shape. It sports large clusters of white, bell-shaped flowers in late spring. The Catalpa tolerates dry and wet locations, windy sites and alkaline soils. It grows well in full sun or partially shady locations.
- The Katsuratree reaches 40 to 60 feet high and is typically oval or pyramidal in shape. Leaf color varies from season to season, changing from red to green in spring and summer and yellow or orange in fall. The Katsuratree prefers full sun and requires a moist, well-drained location.
- The Kentucky Coffeetree is a tall tree that will grow 60 to 75 feet at maturity. The tree shape is typically oval and white flowers appear during early summer. The Kentucky Coffeetree favors a sunny location and will tolerate wet or dry soil. In addition, the Kentucky Coffeetree can handle salt and a high pH soil.
These are just a few of the many tree options that are ideal for replacing a removed Ash tree. While it is hard to lose an important tree in the landscape, find comfort in the opportunity to plant a new tree that will bring beauty to the home for years to come.