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  Illinois Trees  

Department of Natural Resources
Forest Facts

a mature ovary of a flower that protects dormant seeds and aids in their dispersal


a hard-shelled, solid-textured, one-seeded fruit, such as an acorn, that does not split open at maturity, or a seed borne within a fruit having a hard shell, such as a walnut

a plant embryo and its food supply stored together within a protective coat

    • The white oak, Quercus alba, is the state tree of Illinois. Occurring throughout the state, the white oak is an excellent shade tree. Its wood is used for lumber, veneer, barrels, flooring, furniture, and construction.
    • Known for its strength, white oak wood was used in the construction of the U.S.S. Constitution. During a naval battle in the War of 1812, soldiers reported that cannon balls bounced off the hull of this ship, resulting in its nickname "Old Ironsides."
    • Ninety-eight percent of Illinois forests are composed of hardwood species, and 43 percent of the hardwood trees are white and red (Quercus rubra) oak.
    • More than 250 species of trees (native and introduced) have been recorded in Illinois.
      Illinois forests provide habitat for more than 420 vertebrate species.
    • About 120 bird species use Illinois forests for their primary nest sites.
    • In 1820, forests covered 13.8 million acres in Illinois (38 percent of the state). The United States Forest Service (USFS) 1998 inventory estimated 4.9 million acres of forests (14 percent of the state) in Illinois. The USFS estimated that between 1962 and 1998 forest cover in Illinois increased by more than 10 percent.
    • Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and tree care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. http://www.arborday.org/

Correlation to Illinois Learning Standards
Information provided on this poster may be useful to educators when teaching about plants, trees, seeds, leaves, adaptations, Illinois species, and other topics. Illinois Learning Standards and Benchmarks: Science 12.A.1a, 12.A.1b, 12.A.2a, 12.B.1a, 12.B.2b; Social Science 17.A.2a.

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