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!



PRIMARY RULE: Do not do anything that could harm the tree, the public or you (not in any particular order).
SECONDARY RULE: Try to plant native species that will help native birds and insects and avoid chemical pesticides and fertilizers and plastic "water beads" as they are not good for the environment.

The care of the tree pit begins in March and ends at the first frost (usually mid-November) but it’s good to keep an eye on it year round. Fir branches on it in the winter look nice, for example.

1. Clean the tree pit of garbage in early spring.
2. If possible, 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. Plant. Densely if possible as more plants keep dogs out. Spring bulbs are your first line of defense. Bushy grasses are best for corners. For plant and flower suggestions, go to the gardening links (below). Start from seed if you can. They are cheapest and harder for others to steal.
5. Give newly planted trees about 10-15 gallons of water each week during dry weeks in the summer. (4-5 large buckets.) Give trees older than one year about 8-10 gallons of water. (3-4 large buckets.) The key is to water slowly.
6. 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.
7. Please remove any weeds and garbage often.
8. At the end of the season, please remove dead annuals and cut back shrubs. Use your dead plants to mulch the bed for the winter. Christmas tree branches are great.

1. Try not to plant flowers that will grow taller than 3 feet-ish. 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 closer than 12 inches from the tree trunk.
4. Please do not go crazy with fencing, stones, signs or blocks around or inside the tree pit.
5. Never raise the soil level more than ½ inch.
6. If the tree dies or is destroyed, it will be replaced by NYC Dept. of Parks. Parks will replace a dead tree, but any flowers or plants in the pit will be removed when a new tree is planted.

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. Also keep your valuables on or very near you.


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