Care of Street Trees Benefits the Environment

By the Plant Information Specialists

·· Urban Gardening ··

Care of Street Trees Benefits the Environment

Protecting urban trees contributes to the well-being of our city environment, and by extension, to the health of our planet. Trees improve the environment by reducing air pollution. A single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime, thereby lessening the impact of this greenhouse gas. Other important by-products of the process of photosynthesis include release of oxygen and water.

- Keep street trees alive by watering throughout the growing season, especially during periods of drought. Carefully cultivate the soil around the tree before watering, and water once a week: approximately 10 to 12 gallons.

- Protective fencing around tree pits help deter dogs and people from compacting the soil.

- Apply an organic mulch to the soil once the tree is established to moderate soil temperatures, reduce water loss, and add organic matter.

- Plant shallow-rooted annuals in summer to discourage dogs. Perennials and ground cover plants may look great in street tree planting pits, but they will compete with the tree for water and nutrients.

- Flush contaminants like de-icing salt, motor oil, and animal waste out of tree pits.

- Watch for destructive Asian long-horned beetles; they affect many trees, including maples and ash. If you suspect an infestation, contact APHIS, or in New York City call 1-800-201-PARK or 1-877-STOP-ALB.

- Trees New York's Citizen Pruner Course will enable you to be licensed by NYC/Department of Parks & Recreation to care for NYC's trees.

Gardeners: Take eco-conscious action to preserve city street trees. Let's become involved in keeping trees alive and planting new ones to help moderate climate change.

Request a tree to be planted

Plant your own tree

·· Urban Gardening ··

Generous support for the Home Gardening Center has been provided by Kenneth and Ellen Roman.