Wednesday, January 08, 2014

We saved our Sycamore tree from the City of Chicago

The extreme winter temperatures (the polar vortex!) in Chicago the past couple days have yielded many bizarre stories, beautiful pictures and wacky behavior.  Mostly, people have been throwing boiling water into the are to see it vaporize.

We had to save our Sycamore tree.  Technically, it's the City's Sycamore tree in the parkway.  But, you know what I mean.

Extreme cold weather may have caused this Sycamore tree and others to split from the trunk up a couple dozen feet  ( The tree pictured is located in the City parkway of our house).  This tree has split and closed up many times over the years.  There is a beer can still inside that someone placed in it from 1969.
I learned when we bought our current house that our parkway Sycamore tree may split at the trunk in certain weather and then close up again. When we first moved into the house almost 4 years ago there was no evidence of a "hole" or split in the tree.  We really did not understand what neighbors were explaining.

Our tree started cracking on Sunday.  Someone reported the trees to the City and they were quickly inspected by the City and marked to be torn down. TOMORROW. This all happened over Monday or Tuesday while we were shut-in by the cold for two days with our three young kids. No one was told the trees would come down until an orange sign was posted today.

In a weird and quick serious of events, a few neighbors and I talked breifly and called the Bureau of Forestry, the local Streets and Sans supervisors and the 47th Ward Alderman's office.  The Forestry department guy immediately pulled up the reported trees.  He said he also knew the trees split and close up from time to time and was disappointment the trees were ordered to be removed by their inspector.  The removal order was cancelled.

Our parkway Sycamore tree is a wonderful umbrella of green leaves in the smmer
Someone came back out to the house a little later in the evening and took some more pictures.  We may not be out of the woods yet.

Our Sycamore may be the oldest tree on the block.  If it was not for some great neighbors looking out our immediate landscape would have been vastly altered. As a home owner, be helpful and get to know your neighbors and local City officials.  It could save your tree!

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