Phyllis has gotten approval for our final planting and tending guidelines. She spent an enormous amount of time not only putting them together, but getting everyone's input and approval. Be sure to take a look at them as we are relying on the kindness of the various city agencies and I want us all to be conscious of their wishes, especially as we are the test case for the rest of the city pits. A big responsibility for such small spaces.
CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB
BIKE LANE TREE PIT STEWARDSHIP GUIDELINES
The care of the tree pit begins in late April and ends at the first frost (usually mid-November).
STEWARDSHIP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TREE PIT CARE
1. Clean the tree pit at the beginning of spring.
2. Flush the tree pit with lots of water to remove salt deposits.
3. Mix in a thin layer of compost annually (maximum ½ inch in depth).
4. Use a hand cultivator (looks like a three-pronged claw) to loosen and aerate the top 1” to 2” of soil. The majority of the tree’s roots are in the top 18 inches of soil, so be gentle!
5. Plant annuals, perennials or bulbs until your heart’s content. (No vegetables, please.) For plant and flower suggestions, go to the Chelsea Garden Club blog at http://chelseagardenclub.blogspot.com.
6. Give newly planted trees about 10-15 gallons of water each week during the summer. That’s about 4-5 large buckets. Give trees older than one year about 8-10 gallons of water. That’s about 3-4 large buckets. The key is to water slowly.
7. Add a layer of mulch to the tree pit. Please don’t pile mulch against the tree trunk or shrubs because water may accumulate and rot them.
8. Please remove any weeds often.
9. At the end of the season, please remove annuals and cut back shrubs.
1. Do not plant flowers that will grow taller than 2 feet. The line of sight, sight distance and visibility of motorists approaching these locations are important.
2. Do not plant bamboo, ivy, vines, woody shrubs or evergreens since they compete for water and can stunt or kill a tree.
3. Avoid planting near the tree trunk up to 12 inches.
4. For now, please do not put fencing, stones, signs or blocks around or inside of the tree pit.
5. Never raise the soil level more than ½ inch.
6. If the tree dies or be destroyed, it will be replaced by NYC Dept. of Parks. The Dept. of Parks will replace a dead tree, but any flowers or plants in the pit will be removed when a new tree is planted.
FOR YOUR SAFETY
1. All gardeners must be 21 years of age or older.
2. Wear gloves.
3. Bag and dispose of any garbage properly.
4. Try to recycle what materials can be recycled.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE CAREFUL when working in a tree pit. You have traffic on one side and bikes on the other. We want you to enjoy your tree pit creations.
The Chelsea Garden Club reports into Community Board 4. Our direct contact is Jim Jasper.