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Spring 2020 Newsletter

Welcome! TREE Eastie is a community based urban forestry program dedicated to increasing the tree canopy in East Boston. Trees provide so many benefits; they filter air and noise pollution, reduce energy bills, increase property values, provide storm water management and, most importantly during the pandemic, reduce stress. So take a socially distanced walk with a mask and soak in the beauty and benefits of the trees. We hope our first newsletter adds some knowledge and brightness to your day! Please forward it to your friends so they can subscribe too, and share our website Thanks!

Helpful Tips- Spring Tree Care

According to the calendar, spring has arrived! That means your trees are in need of some attention and care. Because they have been essentially asleep for the past five months, as well as having had moisture and debris build upon them, it is vital that your trees are taken care of as early into spring as possible. Here are five easy social distancing tasks to keep your yard and street trees healthy.

  • Cleaning- The first step simply involves cleaning around the tree and the surrounding areas...whether it’s branches, leaves or debris; rake the area at the base of the tree.

  • Mulching- Now that the area around your trees has been cleaned, you can put down mulch. When laying mulch, pile three or four inches around the tree without allowing mulch to pile up against the base of the trunk which can cause disease.

  • Watering- To ensure that your tree does not dry out as the weather continues to get warmer, make sure to give them a thorough watering throughout the spring. This is probably the most important step in tree care. With trees that are over a few years old, roots will expand much further and watering them in a wider circle around the trunk will keep it healthier and protected from disease. If you have a younger tree, you should water closer to the trunk as the root system has not yet been established. Newer trees require a minimum of 20 gallons of water per week. Lastly, deep waterings are more effective than frequent shallow waterings. Remember, street trees need water too!

  • Pruning- Springtime is ideal for pruning because plants have been dormant for the past few months and there are fewer leaves, making it easier to see what you are doing. You will want to make sure to remove all dead and diseased branches or branches that are rubbing together with a sharp saw or loppers.

  • Fertilize- Springtime is the perfect time to fertilize trees before everything starts to grow. Apply the fertilizer under the drip line of the tree. If you want the fertilizer to be absorbed faster, make holes into the ground with a probe.

Maintaining your trees is a year-round job, however, taking these steps to ensure their health in the early spring will set them up for a great year! Each season comes with its own tasks and chores, so make sure you are caring for your trees every day, all year.


East Boston Foundation Grant

TREE Eastie has received at very generous grant from the East Boston Foundation to encourage tree growth in Eastie. This award will allow us to plant more trees, provide bilingual education on tree benefits to the community and acquire bikes with water carriers to maintain newly planted trees across East Boston. We are very grateful to the EBF in support of our mission to make East Boston a more healthier, greener community.

Exciting Rain Barrel News!

Our valued partner, Eastie Farm has acquired a large quantity of rain barrels and are making them available to Eastie residents on a donation based sliding scale starting at $10. The cost is normally over $100.

Rain barrels capture water from your roof and holds it for later use on your lawn, gardens, trees or indoor plants. Under normal conditions, water runoff picks up soil, fertilizer, oil, pesticides and other contaminants from hard surfaces and landscapes. This flows directly into our harbor, streams, lakes and other bodies of nearby water. Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water for use on your landscape. According to the EPA, rain barrels have the ability to save the average homeowner 1300 gallons of water, which is a lot of water that does not become runoff. The barrels are 60 gallons, (about 48"x18”) and are a nice, natural olive green color.

Eastie Farm and TREE Eastie can assist in setting up your rain barrel once social distancing is relaxed. To request a rain barrel for your property, apply here.


With a population of just over 8 million people, New York City just completed an eight year project to plant 1 miilion trees. Read how this was done and the end benefits.

Empty Tree Well Mapping

In partnership with Speak for the Trees, this past winter TREE Eastie volunteers mapped over 200 empty tree wells in East Boston. Each and every one was carefully measured to determine if it allowed for an ADA accessible sidewalk and had enough area for a tree to recieve sufficient water. All of the purple dots you see on OpenTreeMap were added by TREE Eastie volunteers. Cheers to them! The next step is to fill the open wells with trees! This summer we will be doing an inventory of ALL street trees in Eastie and we could use your help!

Tree Care Network

Please fill out this form if you’d like to join the our Tree Care Network. There are lots of activities to participate in and there’s no obligation. By signing up you’ll help us identify Eastie’s tree stewards. In the future, we will reach out when there’s reason to connect -like when a watering volunteer needs a water source on a certain block or to assist with the distribution of bilingual tree education materials in the community or to help with mapping Eastie’s tree inventory or simply to plant a tree! We’re a fun group of volunteers on a mission to make Eastie a healthier, greener place to live, work and play. Gracias!

Neighborhood Presentations

Over the winter, TREE Eastie volunteers led by Bill Masterson and Nat Taylor shared our mission and action plans with members of all six neighborhood associations including: Gove Street, Jeffries Point, Maverick/Central, Eagle Hill, Harbor View and Orient Heights. In addition we met with Mothers Out Front, participated in East Boston Main Street’s Taste of Eastie and met with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Overall these groups offered encouragement and appreciation of our work, gave feedback on existing tree problems and provided TREE Eastie a forum to collaborate with these groups our on goals. Thanks for that!

$10 Yard Trees

In celebration of Arbor Day, Speak for the Trees is thrilled to be partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation to deliver $10 potted trees to residents of Boston who live in low-canopy neighborhoods. They’ll mail, direct to your home, your choice of river birch, flowering dogwood, or willow oak in a 1 gallon pot. Reserve your tree today!

Planting a tree this spring is a great way to get outside and spend time in the open air, connecting you and your family to nature, your neighborhood, and each other. During these times of isolation, it is our desire that these beautiful trees will provide you with a sense of hope for a better future. (and save you money on home energy use, reduce your carbon footprint, improve the air you breathe, and catch stormwater runoff.)

Just click here and input your address and zip code. The website will guide you through the process of determining where to plant your tree for the best annual energy savings. By generously supporting this effort with a $10 donation, you will receive a one-gallon tree and experience its generosity for years to come. Thanks @SFFTBos!

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