Home » General » TreeKeepers branch out along Broadway

Saturday February 7th, 2016

Visible from blocks away, the volunteer team of about 20 TreeKeepers donned their neon vests and took to the street. With loppers, pruning saws, shears, and pole saws in hand, the budding tree stewards practiced the art of pruning trees in winter. They began with a grove of mature flowering Cherries just north of Lombard in the Broadway median. Then heading north, some corrective pruning was performed on several smaller trees in the median as far north as Eager Street.


Beth, from Berea Neighborhood, helped plant about 80 trees in her neighborhood on Halloween 2015. She just became a certified TreeKeeper, and is shown here helping during Saturday’s pruning event. Here was an opportunity to identify dead wood, crossing or rubbing branches, and sucker sprouts for removal.

This Hawthorne gets a sprucing up as TreeKeepers use teamwork.

TreeKeepers are primarily concerned with helping young, newly planted trees get established. Therefore, all pruning work is done from ground level using hand tools. Poles saws greatly increase their vertical reach during the later years of establishment as trees grow taller.

Corrective pruning can be vital in the early stages of a tree’s growth. By eliminating crossing or rubbing branches, thinning out the canopy for increased sunlight infiltration, and removing dead or diseased wood, we can greatly reduce the future work load per tree. In other words “An ounce of prevention = A pound of cure”

Last Saturday’s TreeKeepers crew swooped in and made some major improvements with simple hand tools that will save much more work in the long run. They are always learning and improving their skills, taking these skills with them as they ‘branch’ out into their own neighborhoods. As evident here in this photo, they enjoyed each other’s company.


There’s another pruning workshop scheduled this coming weekend Feb 13th! Visit the link below to register.



Photography by Karolina Tittel

Text by Ted Martello