Pitchforks (and hydrant wrenches) aloft!

Flower Power! We are neighbors who are interested in bringing some botanical beauty to the bike-lane
tree pits so we have persuaded the city to allow us to garden there unimpeded. Anyone is welcome to
join at any level of involvement. There are no dues and no formal meetings; Just a desire to keep
Chelsea tree-lined and flower-filled. Join us!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Iron sulphate and good soil

Phyllis Waisman and Paul Bodden made an attempt to rescue the tree in the
bike lane island on the south side of 21st Street at 9th Avenue. The
tree, a pin oak, has recently started turning yellow (chlorosis). It turned
out that the base of the tree trunk was buried by almost 5 inches of dirt
and debris including some large chunks of cement. Paul and Phyllis
excavated the soil to the tree base level for about 1 to 3 feet around the
base of the tree.

Phyllis filled the tree garter with water and the cement and dead juniper
were discarded. The soil, which is of fairly good quality, was loaded up
into 5 bags and taken for storage in Paul's yard. Any one suffering with
poor soil on 8th Avenue might want to take some of this better soil and work
it into your pit.

At the advice of Steven Boyce from TreesNY, iron sulphate has been ordered
and will be added to the soil next week. Pin oaks are particularly
sensitive to alkaline soils and cement and lime can affect them adverse

Ideally, the soil level should be lowered 4-5" for a full 3 feet around so
that the tree roots can breathe, but we didn't want to disturb the plantings
in the pit. Again, ideally, some kind of barrier could be put in to keep
the soil from spilling back towards the base of the tree.

If anyone need some iron sulphate or good dirt, contact cgc.nyc@gmail.com


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