No free tolls, but free trees from tollway this Arbor Day

  • The Illinois Tollway plans to plant more trees along its roads and on Friday is giving away seedlings, as well.

    The Illinois Tollway plans to plant more trees along its roads and on Friday is giving away seedlings, as well. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 4/28/2016 6:19 PM

You can hug your tree seedling during an Arbor Day giveaway Friday at the Illinois tollway headquarters in Downers Grove and oases.

The agency is offering 15,000 free seedlings between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. along with advice on care from the Morton Arboretum.

 

It's part of an environmental push by the tollway, which last week announced an effort to beautify the ho-hum right-of-way landscaping along toll roads by planting 58,000 trees.

The tollway is partnering with the Morton Arboretum.

"Planting more trees throughout the tollway system offsets impacts of road development and use, creates a community asset, and adds greatly to the quality of the environment," Arboretum President Gerry Donnelly said.

The arboretum will help the agency to analyze the 286-mile tollway system to figure out what type of trees will grow well in urban settings and not suffer ill effects from road salt.

Trees in the program include oaks, elms, buckeyes, locusts, spruces, pines and Kentucky coffee trees, as well as shrubs including lilacs and viburnums.

The cost of the program hasn't been determined yet.

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