Taking Care of Your Tree Pits

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Tips for taking care of your tree pits.

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Take a walk down a street in Park Slope and you're sure to come across some gorgeous trees. Many were planted over 40 years ago and they beautify the sidewalks throughout the neighborhood.  However, many of the trees are living in conditions that are harmful to their health.  The unpaved areas at the base of the trees are called "tree pits", and the condition of the pit makes a big difference to state of the tree .

Here are some Tree Do's:

    • Make sure the bed guard doesn't prevent rainwater from running off the sidewalk into your tree bed.
    • Mulch, but not too much – if wet mulch rests against the trunk, the bark will rot and the tree will eventually die!
    • Water trees with 15 to 20 gallons each week from May to October (more in extreme heat)
    • To avoid damaging tree roots, do not dig into the pit when preparing for planting.  Pick gently at the surface to loosen the hardened top layer and add new soil
    • Keep the tree guard as large as possible so the roots can continue to breathe and live
    • Keep the soil level at street level
    • Choose drought-tolerant, shallow-rooted plants for your tree pits (no woody shrubs)

Check out this Million Trees NYC link for a great “Tree LC” handbook on how to keep the Park Slope trees looking great!

And please curb your dogs and children!  Keep our trees safe and thriving.