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The biggest change between the 2010 tree census and 2020's was the loss of 6 million ash trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Between 2010 and 2020, Chicago’s canopy cover decreased from 19% to 16%, largely due to the loss of mature ash trees, according to the 2020 tree census spearheaded by the Morton Arboretum. 

OAKtober Campaign Aims to Raise Awareness, Spur Action

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(Mabel Amber / Pixabay)

Oak was once the predominant tree in the Chicago area. Now most of them are gone. Ecologists have a plan to make sure they don’t disappear from the region entirely, and they need our help.

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Greene Valley Forest Preserve. (Courtesy of DuPage Forest Preserve District)

Oak trees, once abundant in the Chicago region, have been struggling to reproduce in recent decades. A grant from the U.S. Forest Service will help fund a restoration project at Greene Valley in Naperville.

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A census of the Chicago region's trees, last tallied at 157 million in 2010, is in progress. (Brian Crawford / Flickr)

The 2020 census of the region’s trees — the largest undertaking of its kind in the country — will build on the inaugural 2010 count and help municipalities set priorities for creating healthier green infrastructure, particularly in underserved communities.

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Neighbors in Ravenswood Manor are raising funds to save the area’s parkway ash trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The city has given up on its ash trees, but some Chicagoans refuse to let theirs die.