Newly planted city trees are dying from a lack of water right in front of our eyes. At my micro-sized house, a new city tree along the sidewalk died a few months ago, and the city replaced it. The fellow who planted the tree asked me to water it or this one would also die. For whatever reason — budget, staffing, drought — the watering schedule is inadequate. The solution, he told me, is to the tree five gallons of water every other week for one year to establish the root system.

Trees require a slow drip, and my father taught me a trick. Drill four very small holes in a five-gallon bucket, and leave it by the tree full of water. Within one hour you have a happy tree.

I hate to see the city trees dying due to diffusion of responsibility. By law, home and business owners are not permitted to cut down, replant, or even trim city trees. But truth be told, the city could really use some help keeping our street trees alive.


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