WOODSTOCK – At The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, the 10th month of the year is affectionately known as “Oak-tober” because it is a great time for working on oak conservation.
There are opportunities for individuals of all ages to help ensure that oaks will continue to be an important part of the local landscape many generations from today.
• Collect acorns: TLC holds an Acorn Roundup each fall when residents gather acorns that fall from oaks and bring them in to TLC’s office at 4622 Dean St. in Woodstock. Remove the caps and place the acorns from each tree in a separate bag. If unsure what species a tree is, place a leaf into the bag with the acorns. Acorns that are damaged or have a hole in them should not be collected.
• Plant an oak (or two): Individuals can support oak conservation by planting oaks on their own properties when they buy oaks through TLC. White, bur, red and swamp white oaks are available starting at $20 for a two-year seedling, up to $65 for a 4-foot tree. All oaks sold by TLC are grown from locally collected acorns at Glacier Oaks Nursery in Harvard. Planting instructions will be provided. A limited number of other tree species are available. Orders must be placed by Monday, Oct. 7.
• Plant a memorial or celebration oak: Whether remembering a loved one who has died or celebrating the birth of a new grandchild, hundreds of people have chosen to plant oak trees through TLC to provide a living remembrance. If ordered by Oct. 7, trees will be planted at Hennen Conservation Area, 4622 Dean St., this month. Trees ordered after that date will be planted in May 2014. One-hundred percent of the price, $50 per tree, directly supports the growing and planting of more oaks in the county.
• Attend an oak rescue event: The cool, dry weather is ideal for working outdoors to cut, stack and burn brush that is crowding out oak trees at local natural areas. Check the calendar on TLC’s website for information on restoration events throughout the county.
For information, visit www.conservemc.org or call 815-337-9502.