On a chilly Saturday morning, the crew of the Friends of the Urban Forest, which just happened to include Kory, Rich and myself, went to the Mission for another day of caring for our precious street trees.
Our street trees are planted by with the City DPW or our volunteer group, Friends of the Urban Forest. Homeowners are responsible for caring and watering the trees in front of their houses or buildings while tons of volunteers across the city help plant and maintain these trees.
This time was a group 3-year-old trees receiving their final inspection. We replace stakes, prune, look for diseases and pests, clean out the sidewalk basins and generally try to help the owner understand any problems we find.
The main problems we encounter and damage from car doors opening, damage from vandals, lack of watering and thus stunted growth or failing tree, and over planting or weed growth in the basin (hole) in the sidewalk. Young trees are extremely vulnerable, especially in our windy city with it's summers of no rain. Weeds or intentional plantings in the basin compete and rob the young tree of desperately needed water and cause crown rot to the roots. This is probably the hardest thing for owners to comprehend... most people think that you just stick something in the ground and it will grow!
I love taking care of trees!