Be a better neighbor. Sign up for EveryBlock to follow and discuss neighborhood news.

Sign up for free →

Added Apr 11 2016

Last fall the tree in our neighbor's parkway came crashing down in our yard during a storm. When we looked at the remaining stump we saw that it was dead and rotten straight through. The city removed the debris, but did not assist with our claim as the neighbor had never reported a tree problem to the city.

We have a similar tree on our own parkway that we have concerns about. Based on how it looked last fall, it isn't dead but it isn't terribly healthy either. Does anyone know how to go about getting the city to do a "wellness check" on a tree?

  • call 311

  • PurpleHat Small biz owner in Albany Pk. Former Realtor.

    Thought of that, thanks! But... the online request form shows options for tree planting, trimming and dead tree removal but not tree checkups. Same thing on the alderman's site. Do they have more options if you call in?

  • Budlong Woods neighbor Trying to be happy

    Try checking with the County too. I think it was the County folks going around last year checking and tagging trees for the beetles.

  • PurpleHat Small biz owner in Albany Pk. Former Realtor.

    I contacted the ward office yesterday. The woman I spoke to said 311 tree trimming was the way to go but that there's currently a 2-3 week turnaround.

  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    "...there's currently a 2-3 week turnaround."

    Wow. I was under the impression that the response time for parkway tree work ran to months if not years, not weeks. Things must have improved, or my information was way faulty.

  • Eric Blair Never again! But never forget!

    312-744-4000 ¤¤¤¤I'D LIKE TO HAVE A CAPS REQUEST FORM FILLED OUT, PLEASE! ( GIVE DETAILS OR PHOTO VIA THE E-MAIL OR HOMEPAGE, IDENTIFIED BY THE CAPS service request # they give you; if you hold on the line. Step two~~~DETARTMENT OF FORESTRY, PLEASE!

    Step 3 312-744-5000 Mayor's office for mayoral complaint, please?

    Step 4 Contact the people you voted for (if they won) or the people that did win.

    Step 5. ADVISE THE MEDIA OF THE ABOVE!

    REPETITIVE REPETITION!?

    IMAGINE THE TREE (SAVED/HEALTHY AGAIN) DISAPPEARING (DON'T FORGET TO REQUEST A REPLANTING) AND JUST WATER AND WEED IT?

    This happened! One two houses down and two on the block. Don't forget to "request" a replanting/replacement!
    (I didn't and they removed the tree, rebuilt the curb and curb walk but no tree. The neighbors got ONE OR TWO SAPLINGS and they are beautiful after 2 years and 4 years down the block!

    No replacement by a fire hydrant or handicap crosswalk ramp to the street, for safety. Extra time if your water/sewer lines need to be surveyed; both for up and down. Sometimes if the roots are encroaching the lines, they may not replace it with the same type but a better suited sapling/relocation.
    With the "NEW LED LIGHT" program, which no one on earth is going to stop: check if your tree or the replacement blocks the light to your bedroom window at night. Adjust accordingly.
    But consider shopping for new light blocking drapes?

    Hope you like the beutiful new tree(s) in front of your house.

  • Regarding surveying for dangerous public trees, city has hired arborist walking down block by block observing present condition. And listing individuals that require removal over winter when tree removal program takes place.

    That said, citizens have best chance at discovering potential problems early. And more complaints a tree gets, should call attention to it quicker. But know that most structurally dangerous trees, can also look the healthiest.

    As of 2018, suggest using cities web page where residents can submit a categorized request for city service or to report problems. This general city App will receive much quicker response than local ward Alderman route, which needs to get passed on to higher departments.

    As far as public trees, since at least 2014 Forestry department has been merged into general streets and sans, and transportation department regarding public trees in certain locations. After Rohm working to catch up with over two year trimming back log, began hiring "Day workers" to do arboricultural work.

    Sadly since then, workers minus basic forestry skills have continued to permanently damage countless numbers of city trees through pruning program.

    I learned that portion of tree trimming backlog, caused by certain property owners needlessly requesting tree pruning every few years.

    Since Silver Maples are most sensitive to past pruning or storm damage, city has already implemented removal program for this species of tree.

  • PurpleHat Small biz owner in Albany Pk. Former Realtor.

    Thanks Scott, but you know that this post is two years old, right? (Also, the dead tree has been deemed "not dead enough" to come down and still stands out front.)

  • PurpleHat, updated info is for anyone searching topic in future. If you do not mind, can I get location of tree to check it out for myself. Then I might then be able to supply you with little more technical info, to better understand official diagnosis by city forestry. As a Volunteer Openland's TreeKeeper, we are trained on diagnosing conditions of trees. Its suggested we look out for problem trees, and report to city same way residents do.

    From my experience, City of Chicago arborist usually have no qualms in cutting down the least bit questionable trees. In fact it seems they have a quota to fill, expecting to remove large numbers of trees every winter anyways. And with new machinery, it takes less work to remove than properly planting one. In past cost of removing a tree was an astounding $1200 bucks! Agreed to by union.

    Property owners pressure city to remove perfectly healthy trees. Or fully blame big parkway tree for damaging private sewer line. Unaware already damaged drainage pipe leaking water invites root growth. Regrowing back, requiring pipe to be rodded out again. Largest reason of drainage lines needing expensive replacement falls on houses original builders who cut corners by installing loose fitting clay pipes without any grout to keep from inevitable leaking.

    Any Arborist knows how healthiest looking trees can turn out to be the structurally weakest and most dangerous. Also true that newest growth ring produced by trees already hollowing out, is only thing keeping it standing. Just like pipe or cardboard tube is a strong hollow structure with OD of outer shell thick enough. So hollow or rotting tree suffers weakened health, newest growth rings will be much thinner. Peak time for failure by thin walled trunk, is month of July during summer drought. Suddenly dropping off on a bright sunny windless day. Ironically lower trunk shoots everyone likes pruning off, supply added girth to trunk. So best option for hollowing out tree, is to retain.

5 neighbors are subscribed to this conversation.

Posted to Albany Park

This was posted to Albany Park

What's the news in your neighborhood? Search for your ZIP code:

e.g. 60615