Five Ways to Improve Your Neighborhood Urban Trees in 2013
January is the month for improvement. This year, rather than vowing –once again— to lose weight, save money, or get organized— why not think outwardly? Resolve to improve your NYC community instead by improving your neighborhood urban trees in 2013.
Trees and gardens are vital to the health of a neighborhood. At Curb Allure, we’re delighted to report that tree guards are becoming an important part of this equation. Just look at this recent Wall Street Journal article, Myrtle Avenue Dresses Up Its Trees, which highlights artistic tree guards. However, aside from installing tree box guards around your block, there are several others way to get involved. Here are five new ideas:
1. Mulch Your Christmas Tree. Many cities and towns offer programs to mulch your old trees for fertilizer or other gardening purposes. Each January in New York City, the Parks & Recreation department holds its annual Mulchfest throughout the five boroughs. This year’s event starts this Saturday, January 12. If your community does not offer such a program, try adding some of your old Christmas tree branches to your tree pits. Not only will they protect the tree, but the smell will be heavenly!
2. Curb Your Dog. Believe it or not, dog waste is NOT fertilizer. According to the New York Times, acid in dog urine eats away at bark, stripping the tree’s natural defense system. And you can just imagine how that urine corrodes metal tree guards. Rather than letting your dog relieve himself in a tree pit, “curb” him —actually bring him to the curb of the street to urinate.
3. Learn How to Care for Your Urban Trees in 2013. Pruning trees properly takes a little bit of knowledge. Trees New York offers Citizens Pruner, a five session program that legally trains people to prune the city’s street trees. Call your local parks department for similar classes. If none are available, several useful websites are available with step-by-step directions, such as the International Society of Arborculture’s Trees Are Good website. (FYI, this site is a treasure trove of tree knowledge).
4. Join A Block Association. Whenever you walk down a particularly lovely street, there is usually a block association behind it. Not only are these neighborhood organizations a great way to get involved in street beautification projects, but offer a fantastic opportunity to get to know your neighbors. Start with saving your Manhattan trees with tree pit fences. Beauty and friends. What can be better than that? If your block does not have an association, start one today.
5. Fund Spring Planting. If you live in a building, now is the time to approach management for a planting allowance. Most buildings will gladly allocate money to beautify their grounds –particularly if eager tenants (like you) agree to do the planting and maintenance. And to make sure these trees and plants flourish, protect them with tree box fences to keep them safe from the elements
Enacting just one of these changes in your community will feel spectacular. Maybe better than losing five pounds.