Street tree programs are basically the same everywhere, with adjustment according to local conditions.
Adjacent property owners (APO) to the planting site will be expected to maintain the tree for the first three years, after which the City will resume responsibility. Tree Stewards can assume the duties for the APO.
Fifteen-gallon tree stock is easy for volunteers to work with, and research confirms that within a couple of years this size tree becomes equal in growth and development of larger stock. Planting will occur on Saturdays with an orientation for volunteers the preceeding Tuesday.
The City Parks Department will have the final decision on location and tree species selection.
While the tree is free, we ask for a donation of $50 to help us pay for planting supplies (stakes, ties and mulch), and our services the three years.
Trees will be planted during the late fall-early winter season.
The Tree Application can be filled out on-line and sent directly to us, or you may print the form and mail to our address. All applications must be received in our office by September 30. No exceptions.
Your new tree needs special care during the winter. The sap is down in the roots by now providing the sugar needed for root growth.
Remove any leaves on the ground from deciduous trees (those that drop their leaves for winter) and put them into the green can for disposal. Do not put them in a plastic bag before putting them in the can! Decaying leaves may have insects or disease that can "over-winter" and cause problems next year. With proper disposal they will not clog our storm drains leading to contaminants in our bay and ocean.
Weeds growing over the root ball will suck up nutrients needed for growing roots. Remove them either by hand or with an herbicide. Pre-seed emergent are available from local nurseries or hardware stores. I prefer one called simply Weeder, not Preen, which has more fertilizer than pre-seeder. Afterward put down a thin layer of mulch, but keep it 3 inches away from the trunk, the area needed for gas exchange.
While at the store look for an item called a root feeder. It is a long stick with a storage area on top for the fertilizer and an attachment for a hose. Pick up a box of tablets specifically for trees and shrubs. If your tree was planted 2011, you will use this item in January, but no later than the beginning of March. If your tree was planted 2012, don't fertilize until 2014. Your tree was fertilized when it was planted.
Water bags should be lifted by now. If left on the tree the wind will rattle them around damaging the bark on the trunk. It is better to remove the bags completely and store them until about the end of March or middle of April. Keep the top of the root ball moist if there are several days without rain. Otherwise, don't water your tree if the ground appears wet.