The Garden is temporarily closed. See updates.

Garden News Blog

Trees are for Kids!

Young gardeners learn best by doing, and street trees could use their help! Here are some tree-rific tips to get started:

  • Prep: Scout your tree bed for anything hazardous that should first be removed by you.
  • Dress the part: It’s dirty work, so think fashion for scarecrows—gloves and old clothes.
  • De-trash: Together, collect garbage. See who can gather the most!
  • Weed hunt: Pull a few examples, then play the “match that weed” game until they’re all gone.
  • Rough and fluff: Have kids use a claw cultivator tool to gently scratch the surface of the soil. Drag, don’t dig.
  • Think bagel, not volcano: Spread a one- to two-inch layer of mulch over the bed, leaving an eight-inch “no mulch zone” around the base of the trunk.
  • Be a big drip: Use small watering cans or a bucket brigade (repurposed yogurt containers work well), to give the entire tree bed a nice, slow drink.
  • Choose care captains: Who will be in charge of keeping weeds and trash removed and making sure the trees get enough water each week from spring through fall?
  • Add green bling: Fall is a great time for small hands to plant small bulbs. In spring, plant small, colorful annuals like marigolds and begonias.

For more information on caring for our urban forest take a GreenBridge workshop and read Street Tree Bed Care: Give Trees a Chance.

Maureen O’Brien is the community field manager at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Submit a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this article. Comments are moderated and will be posted after BBG staff review. Your email address is required; it will not be displayed, but may be needed to confirm your comments.

Image, top of page: