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Green trees along the North Branch of the Chicago River, Oct. 14, 2021. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Sunny days and cool nights are the key to brilliant fall foliage. If the weather cooperates, expect things to take a turn for the colorful as Chicago’s trees hit their peak within the next two weeks.

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With a tree removed in front of the home on the right, Chicago has a new gap in its tree canopy cover. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The city has been testing alternatives to open-trench digging and tree removal during pipe replacement and repair projects. Failure of one new technique spelled the end of the line for a slew of trees in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood.

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Currently, the city’s tree canopy cover is at 16%, a 3 percentage point decrease since 2010, according to a 2020 census of Chicago’s trees led by the Morton Arboretum. (WTTW News)

The City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance to create an Urban Forestry Advisory Board — charged with strategically caring for Chicago's urban tree canopy.

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Chicago has room for 900,000 more trees in under-resourced areas alone. (Facebook / Openlands)

Supporters are calling it a big win for Chicago’s trees, but say the real work begins now. How the new Urban Forestry Advisory Board will bring together public and private partners to care for and enhancing the city’s urban canopy.

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This June 13, 2021 photo provided by the Forest Preserve District of Will County in Naperville, Ill., shows a tree at Whalon Lake Dog Park in Naperville that dog owner Asher Thomas sprayed, along with over a dozen other trees, with a pruning sealer that he thought would prevent further damage after another dog owner's German shepherd had gnawed away the bark. (Anthony Schalk / Forest Preserve District of Will County via AP)

A man who said he sprayed trees in a Naperville park to protect them after an anxious dog chewed off the bark has been ticketed by authorities.

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The thousands of trees damaged during 2020's powerful derecho storm demonstrated the vulnerability of Chicago's tree canopy. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“Trees need care like streets need repairing,” said Malcolm Whiteside, deputy commissioner for Chicago’s Department of Forestry, who threw his support behind the creation of an Urban Forestry Advisory Board.

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Elm seeds are blanketing lawns and sidewalks. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The unusually high volume of seeds falling from trees this spring, especially from the city’s elms, is indicative of drought, said Jeff Brink, senior forester with the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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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. 

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Visitors have been flocking to Jackson Park to catch the cherry trees in bloom. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

With its cherry trees finally in full bloom, thousands of people have been flocking to Jackson Park daily. But hurry, the breathtaking blossoms won’t last for long.

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Take a close look at bark. It has a lot of clues about a tree's identity. (Pexels / Elizaveta Dushechkina)

There are quirky details to be found in bark, twigs and buds that can turn a walk in the woods or around the block into a game of “name that tree.”

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Urban Growers Collective maintains a herd of 17 goats at its South Chicago farm. (Courtesy of Urban Growers Collective)

Where humans see a messy pile of dried needles, goats see a tasty meal. The herd at Urban Growers Collective’s South Chicago farm can dine for weeks on recycled Christmas trees.

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(WTTW News)

At some point, Christmas trees get brown, the needles fall off, and it’s time for them to go. But that doesn’t necessarily mean tossing your tree in the trash.

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Christmas trees. (Lisa Fotios / Pexels)

Starting Jan. 9, you can drop off your tree for recycling at one of two dozen Chicago parks. Here’s everything you need to know.

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Is there a middle ground between obliterating leaves and letting nature take its course? We asked an expert from the Chicago Botanic Garden.

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

From a sociological perspective, we rake because no one wants to be the neighbor with the messy lawn, but ecologically speaking, the benefits of a little mess outweigh the merits of a pristine yard.

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The 45-foot blue spruce will be on display Nov. 20-Jan. 7. (Courtesy City of Chicago)

The holidays are shaping up to be quite different in 2020, but Chicago is still officially putting on a festive face.