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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. 

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Leaves don’t belong in the streets, or in dumpsters. Call 311 for a yard waste pickup after you’ve raked and bagged your leaves.

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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What triggers the internal prompt that tells a tree "Oh hey, winter's coming"? It's a mystery to researchers. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

There’s still a lot that scientists don’t understand about what makes trees tick, especially when it comes to fall color. A team at the Morton Arboretum is working to unlock those secrets.

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The state champ bald cypress on the Illinois Big Tree Register. (University of Illinois Extension-Forestry / Facebook)

Of Illinois’ 183 native tree species, nearly 140 are represented on the Illinois Big Tree Register as a state “champ,” leaving 46 species still in need of a big discovery. Here’s how to nominate a tree for inclusion on the list.

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Less than an inch of rain was recorded at O’Hare in the month of August, pushing Chicago toward drought. That’s likely putting stress on trees, so give them a soak.

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Nearly 12,000 trees were lost during the powerful Aug. 10 derecho storm. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Damage to Chicago’s trees during the powerful Aug. 10 derecho was even more extensive than previously thought.

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Trees crashed onto cars and into streets during storms on Aug. 10, 2020. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

City crews are still clearing debris from last week’s powerful derecho. Thousands of trees were lost, which has renewed the call by some for an Urban Forestry Advisory Board to manage Chicago’s green infrastructure. 

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TreeKeepers are active in their communities, organizing tree plantings, adopting trees and maintaining parks. (Openlands / Facebook)

The conservation group Openlands started the program in 1991 and has since certified 2,000 TreeKeepers, who play an important role in conserving, protecting and advocating for the Chicago region’s trees. 

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A proposed Urban Forestry Advisory Board would take a more strategic look at one of the city’s unsung resources — its trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

It’s time to be strategic, rather than reactive, when it comes to managing a vital piece of Chicago’s infrastructure — it’s trees. 

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"Green Lady" in Jackson Park is the latest sculpture to breathe new life into one of Chicago's dead ash trees. (Chicago Sculpture International)

Since 2014, the Chicago Tree Project has commissioned more than two dozen sculptures across the city, bringing new life to dead ash trees. The latest is a work by artist Gary Keenan.

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