Park District Offers Native Trees, Shrubs For Sale

Posted on: August 24, 2018

Autumn is the best time to plant trees and shrubs, according to Renae Frigo, Naturalist and environmental expert with the Glen Ellyn Park District. “Late September and through October is generally a wetter time of the year,” she explained. “Cooler temperatures and the water helps trees and shrubs to establish a healthy root system before going dormant for the winter, and it’s early enough to avoid any chance of frost.”

The Glen Ellyn Park District is partnering with the Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission and The Conservation Foundation to offer an opportunity for the community to add beautiful native trees and shrubs to their yards. All three organizations have a mission to help towns, counties, and communities with environmental efforts. “The trees and shrubs come in 5-gallon containers, so they will be easy to transport home and to plant,” added Frigo. “Starting with smaller sized plants is best; they tend to have healthier root systems, which helps them to grow faster. Bigger trees can lose a portion of their root structure as they’re cut off to make transportation and transplanting easier. After about five years, the smaller trees and shrubs have often caught up in size, but continue to have a healthier root system.”

The Park District will be offering 12 species of trees and 12 species of shrubs during this special sale, including Meadowsweet, American Hazelnut, Blue Beech, and Bur Oak. “A list of the species available for purchase, along with the plants’ descriptions and the order form, can be found at www.gepark.org/shrub-sale,” said Frigo. “I need to stress that anyone wanting to purchase these plants must pre-order by September 21st. Pick-up is September 29th from 9:00 – 11:00 am at Sunset Park in Glen Ellyn.”

The Conservation Foundation is partnering with Possibility Place Nursery in Monee, IL to supply the trees and shrubs for the sale. “Possibility Place Nursery usually only sells to wholesalers, so this is a special opportunity for our community,” explained Frigo. “They’re one of the only nurseries in the area that specializes in growing native trees and plants.”

There are a variety of benefits offered by native species of trees and shrubs, according to Frigo. “Native plants are beneficial because they are already adapted to our climate and weather conditions, including rainfall amounts, soil types, and temperature extremes, so they require less maintenance,” she said. “They require less water, are hardier, and can be very attractive. Native plants also support local wildlife; many flower in the spring, which is good for pollinators like bees and butterflies. Some produce edible berries for birds and chipmunks. Native plants are also a great choice because we know they’ll do well. They don’t have to work hard to adapt to their environment.”

Frigo is proud to be a part of this partnership that is offering native trees and shrubs for sale to the public. “This is a great service we’re offering the community,” she explained. “It’s hard to find nurseries that provide native species of plants. Many trees and shrubs at local nurseries come from the south, where they were first planted in different conditions than those we experience in Illinois. They tend to not do as well as locally grown plants in the long run.”

It’s important to note that those interested in purchasing native trees and shrubs through the Glen Ellyn Park District must pre-order. “It’s first-come, first-served, so orders placed earlier will have a better chance of getting filled,” said Frigo. “And pick-up day will be really easy; orders will be sorted and ready to go in a streamlined fashion. Buyers can pull up in their car, load up, and pull out. We’ll also provide a handout that explains how to plant the trees and shrubs. Additional information about growth rates, water requirements, and sun vs. shade preferences can be found by following a link on our website.”

For more information, or to locate the order form, please visit www.gepark.org/shrub-sale. Questions? Contact Renae Frigo at rfrigo@gepark.org, or Jan Roehll at jroehll@theconservationfoundation.org.