One little neat tree fact I want to share with you! When prairies covered almost two-thirds of Illinois and Native Americans lived on this land, locating sources of water and important trails was very important for survival. So Native Americans altered the limbs of growing native trees at 90 angles, without damaging them, to point to significant locations (water, food, trails, safety). These are known as marker or trail trees. Although most of these trees are now gone to due old age or removal due to development, it’s neat to know that these marker trees existed locally.
Here is a photo of a tree taken near a creek in one DuPage County Forest Preserve that resembles the marker trees create by Native Americans. More information about these neat trees can be found at:
Great Book: Native American Trail Marker Trees – Dennis Downes (local author)