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Thursday, 01 October 2015 00:00

Celebrate OAKtober!

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group hug with big white 123111 385x284Governor Rauner officially declared October to be OAKtober this year to help raise awareness of Illinois’ oak legacy. 

The white oak, Quercus alba, is the state tree because of the tree’s importance to the natural heritage and economy of Illinois. White oaks occur in every county in the state. 

The wood from these tall, sturdy trees was used by early settlers for furniture, fence posts, barrels and flooring. Native Americans used white oak bark and roots to make medicines to treat a variety of ailments ranging from mouth sores to asthma.



Because the wood is so useful, white oaks are less common in the state today than they were 200 years ago when the state was lightly settled. Additionally, white oaks grow slowly, and do not produce acorns until they are about 20 years old, which is a longer time to maturity than many other trees. 

In general, oaks provide the foundation for our quality of life.  Oaks and other trees work for us by cleaning the air and water, reducing air temperature and helping to conserve energy. They reduce flooding and support our native wildlife. Additionally, native oaks evolved with native plants and wildlife to make unique ecosystems that are some of the most endangered in the world.

How fortunate for us to live in a place where oaks are still a vital part of the community. 

Everyone can help keep it that way by taking time to celebrate local oaks this month:

Thursday, October 8, 6-7pm, Speaking of Nature on WHIW-LP 101.3 FM will feature a discussion with Joe Beeson and Mary McClelland, the inspiration behind TLC's oak conservation effort, Project Quercus. (Listen live through the TuneIn app on a smart phone, or on the web at harvardcommunityradio.com.)

Saturday, October 10, 9-10am, Ryders Woods Family Discovery Day, 750 E Kimball Avenue, Woodstock. The Land Conservancy will lead a short hike through the oak woods at this Woodstock City Park.

Thursday, October 15, 6-7pm, Tree Talk with Shawn Kingzette on WHIW-LP 101.3 FM will be all about oaks in our community and culture. . (Listen live through the TuneIn app on a smart phone.)

oak seedlings at NurseryFriday, October 16, 9am – 4pm, Oak and Native Tree Sale pick-up at The Land Conservancy office, 4622 Dean Street, Woodstock. Visit TLC’s website, www.conservemc.org, to order trees today. The oak sale raises funds to support TLC’s oak conservation work in McHenry County.

Saturday, October 17, 1-4pm, 100 Oaks for 100 Years at Lost Valley Visitor Center, Ringwood. Free event celebrating the local oak heritage. McHenry County Conservation District will be planting hundreds of oak seedlings and native shrubs to recreate an oak savanna at Glacial Park and also providing tours of the existing oak woods found there. TLC will have seedling oaks for sale. Davey Tree Expert Company will be on hand to answer questions about tree care. 

Sunday, October 18- Wednesday, October 21, International Oak Society 8th Annual Meeting, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois. More information available at www.internationaloaksociety.org.

Saturday, October 24, 9am-noon, Community Research Forest restoration workday, 20500 Lembcke Road, Harvard. Join other volunteers working to clear non-native brush and trees from around some of the oldest oaks in McHenry County. Hand tools and refreshments provided. Contact TLC for more information: 815-337-9502 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Governor Rauner officially declared October to be OAKtober this year to help raise awareness of    Illinois’ oak legacy.    The white oak, Quercus alba, is the state tree because of the tree’s importance to the natural    heritage and economy of Illinois. White oaks occur in every county in the state.    The wood from these tall, sturdy trees was used by early settlers for furniture, fence posts,    barrels and flooring. Native Americans used white oak bark and roots to make medicines to treat    a variety of ailments ranging from mouth sores to asthma.   Because the wood is so useful, white oaks are less common in the state today than they were 200    years ago when the state was lightly settled. Additionally, white oaks grow slowly, and do not    produce acorns until they are about 20 years old, which is a longer time to maturity than many    other trees.    In general, oaks provide the foundation for our quality of life.  Oaks and other trees work for us    by cleaning the air and water, reducing air temperature and helping to conserve energy. They    reduce flooding and support our native wildlife. Additionally, native oaks evolved with native    plants and wildlife to make unique ecosystems that are some of the most endangered in the    world.   How fortunate for us to live in a place where oaks are still a vital part of the community.    Everyone can help keep it that way by taking time to celebrate local oaks this month:   Thursday, October 8, 6-7pm, Speaking of Nature on WHIW-LP 101.3 FM will feature a    discussion with local oak experts. (Listen live through the TuneIn app on a smart phone.)   Saturday, October 10, 9-10am, Ryders Woods Family Discovery Day, 750 E Kimball Avenue,    Woodstock. The Land Conservancy will lead a short hike through the oak woods at this    Woodstock City Park.   Thursday, October 15, 6-7pm, Tree Talk with Shawn Kingzette on WHIW-LP 101.3 FM will be    all about oaks in our community and culture. . (Listen live through the TuneIn app on a smart    phone.)   Friday, October 16, 9am – 4pm, Oak and Native Tree Sale pick-up at The Land Conservancy    office, 4622 Dean Street, Woodstock. Visit TLC’s website, www.conservemc.org, to order trees    today. The oak sale raises funds to support TLC’s oak conservation work in McHenry County.   Saturday, October 17, 1-4pm, 100 Oaks for 100 Years at Lost Valley Visitor Center, Ringwood.    Free event celebrating the local oak heritage. McHenry County Conservation District will be    planting hundreds of oak seedlings and native shrubs to recreate an oak savanna at Glacial Park    and also providing tours of the existing oak woods found there. TLC will have seedling oaks for    sale. Davey Tree Expert Company will be on hand to answer questions about tree care.    Sunday, October 18- Wednesday, October 21, International Oak Society 8th Annual Meeting,    The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois. More information available at    www.internationaloaksociety.org.   Saturday, October 24, 9am-noon, Community Research Forest restoration workday, 20500    Lembcke Road, Harvard. Join other volunteers working to clear non-native brush and trees from    around some of the oldest oaks in McHenry County. Hand tools and refreshments provided.    Contact TLC for more information: 815-337-9502 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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