Several weeks ago, neighbors on the 3600 block of Guilford in the historic Watson Park neighborhood banded together to plant ten beautiful trees that now adorn their street. They worked hard to plant those trees, thinking of them as an investment in the future of the neighborhood.
While out walking my dog early this morning I came across a scene that speaks to what makes Indianapolis a city of wonderful neighborhoods. Unrolling his garden hose, Randy Kinsley, the project organizer for this tree planting, was out with his dog Sparky, watering his newly planted Tulip and Redbud trees. While talking with Randy I noticed John from across the street dragging the watering hose out to his red maple. Soon thereafter, Randy’s next door neighbor Doris came out of her house and began diligently watering her tree!
Over steaming cups of coffee, neighbors greet each other, smile and wave across their streets, as they care for their new “neighbors”; Neighbors that will bring lots of wonderful benefits – lower heating and cooling bills, cleaner air, and more beauty to their neighborhood – just to name a few.
As everyone by now is aware, our region is in a dangerous dry spell …dangerous, that is, for trees, and especially younger trees that have been planted in the past three years. These trees need water to get established, and a stretch of weeks without water can be deadly.
Trees are such an important asset to our city and now is the time that we need to band together to preserve them.
As a general rule, the tree team at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful recommends that newly planted trees receive 15 gallons of water once each week, from May 1st to first frost, which usually comes around mid-October. This should be done for the first three years after planting. Watering newly planted trees is the number one factor in tree survivability. (Proper planting is #2 on that list…see our basic tree care page for more information:
Tree plantings bring out the best in neighbors. Residents, some of whom have not had a chance to talk with their neighbors in a while, get caught up and reconnected. While working on a common goal of caring for their trees, a community bond is strengthened. And while our human neighbors need each other for support, so do our “tree neighbors.” So, please hear their plea for a long drink of water during this especially dry season. They will thank you in many ways, for many years to come.