From the wonderful reactions we are getting, most people seem to have noticed the 31 amazing new trees in the ground, representing “Round Two” of our efforts to Re-Tree the Park! We are so grateful to Mayor Davis and the city council for funding the trees, our vendor Action Landscaping for their beautiful trees and very professional and friendly planting staff, Cindi Sullivan for her selections and consultations, and of course, to our citizens, for requesting the trees and agreeing to maintain them. The trees include London planetrees, swamp oaks, elms, red buds, and more! These are all trees that grow well in our area and contribute to the diversity and health of our tree canopy. We also have provided watering devices–those snazzy green bags–on trees we have planted. New owners have been instructed to fill the bag virtually every day for the first three weeks, then twice a week until the tree is established.
Citizens with the new trees have received maintenance instructions, but in case you have a relatively young tree in your lawn, we are repeating them here:
St. Regis Park Tree Maintenance Guidelines
Adequate water is critical to the health of a newly planted tree; it should receive a regular thorough soaking of the soil in the root zone, and the soil needs to be kept consistently moist (but not wet) until the tree becomes well established, which can take two or more years.
Different species have different water requirements, soil type and weather conditions also affect the amount of water needed. Frequent watering of new trees provides more benefit than applying large volumes of water infrequently because of the need of the root system to establish into the native soil. This is in direct contrast to well established trees that thrive with less frequent watering with larger volumes of water, rather than light and frequent watering.
Just as a general rule, check the soil moisture and if necessary, water a newly planted tree using a soaker hose or water reservoir device daily for three weeks after planting with 1-2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter; 2-3 times weekly in the first 3 months after planting with 2-4 gallons per trunk diameter; and every week that there is not an inch of rain accumulation thereafter.
Suggestion: Remove the green bag from your tree in the winter, and put it back on in the spring. Use your own judgment, but basically we are talking Halloween to April Fools Day for having it put away in your garage.
Mulch will be applied over the tree root zone at planting. Organic mulch suppresses weed competition, retains soil moisture, regulates soil temperature, and improves the soil over time. The optimum depth of mulch is 2-3 inches over the root zone and mulch needs to be kept from touching the trunk in order to prevent moisture from damaging the bark.
Finally, because so many people have noticed the trees, we already have more than 25 names on a list for trees to be planted this Fall. The council has approved 60 trees for fiscal year 2015-2016, so make sure you are included in the lottery late this summer. To enter your name, please email or phone your name, address, phone, and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or the city phone line, 491-7777.
Enjoy the beautiful summer days ahead, water your trees as needed, and relax in their cool shade!
The Tree Board