In Northern Illinois and in many locales across the world, frequent controlled (prescribed) burning is a common practice towards ecological restoration. The benefits include purged invasive species, canopy thinning, and habitat replenishment for various plant and animal species. Fire is also heavily used in oak restoration efforts in the Chicago area. However, research published recently in Forest Ecology & Management, co-authored by Morton Arboretum’s soil ecologist Dr. Meghan Midgley, indicates soil changes from frequent burning may be actually hurting oak trees. The Oak Ecosystem Recovery Plan, developed by Morton Arboretum, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and Lake County Forest Preserve, provides strategies to improve the health of Chicago-area oak ecosystems. We’ll talk about saving our mighty oaks with Midgley, and Lydia Scott, director of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative at Morton Arboretum.
Scott will participate in an upcoming symposium called “The Future of Trees: Hope in a Changing Climate” on Thursday, April 12, 2018, 7:00 p.m. at Morton Arboretum, hosted by WBEZ Worldview’s Jerome McDonnell.