Northern Cook County faces severe drought conditions; city encourages residents to water trees


Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

The city is encouraging residents to water their trees once a week while northern Cook County faces severe drought conditions due to lack of precipitation.

Delaney Nelson, City Editor

Northern Cook County, including Evanston, is facing severe drought conditions due to lack of precipitation, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

In an effort to combat dry conditions, the city encouraged residents to water the trees on their property and in their parkway once a week in a Friday news release.

This may become the second driest May on record in Chicago since 1871, according to The Chicago Tribune, who also reported that slightly more than a quarter of the state is abnormally dry. The last significant drought in the state came in 2012.

According to the release, soaker hoses or watering at a low trickle on all sides of the tree will effectively allow water to soak all the way into the soil and avoid run off. 

It is especially important to water newly planted trees, whose root systems are less established for the first one to two years and exist around the trunk, according to the release. 

While established trees require less water than newly planted trees, the city said residents should water them because of the drought conditions. Residents should soak the area at the outer edge of an established tree’s canopy.

The city has also begun implementing outdoor watering restrictions, which will be in place until September.

From May 15 to Sept. 15, the city does not permit lawn irrigation with water supplied from the city’s waterworks system between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Odd-numbered addresses are permitted to water on odd-numbered dates, and even-numbered addresses are permitted to water on even-numbered dates.

Gardens are exempt from these Illinois Department of Natural Resources requirements.  

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @delaneygnelson

Related Stories: 

West End Garden seeks to bring justice-focused community gardening to Evanston

Chief sustainability officer Kumar Jensen to step down

City launches Community Solar Program, hires solid waste coordinator