Greening the Neighborhood


Tree Wells

The city’s standard size for tree wells has changed recently to 4 ft by 8 ft. Although many Bolton Hill tree wells are currently smaller than this, you will note that larger tree wells are being added when the city lays or repairs sidewalks. You may wish to plant in these tree wells. This should be done only if you are going to water regularly in order to prevent the new surface plantings from taking water away from a tree’s shallow roots.

The city standards for tree wells discourage a raised tree planter box around an existing tree in that adding soil around a trunk can prohibit feeder roots from obtaining oxygen. In addition, the city may require a resident to remove such boxes when and if the city plants a new tree.


Watering Trees

The trees in front of your home will thrive if you help to take care of them. To water new trees, the city recommends 20 gallons of water once or twice a week (equivalent to a slow faucet flow for 10 minutes) from May through October for at least the first two years. For established trees, the city recommends 5 gallons of water – especially in dry periods.

Use one of the following easy techniques:

  • Turn a hose on low for 1/2 hour at the base of the tree.
  • Place a 5-gallon bucket with holes in the bottom at the base of your tree and fill it 4-5 days a week.
  • Add a 25-gallon Ooze Tube or Gator Bag to the base of your tree and fill it up once a week


Mulching Trees

Mulch – such as wood chips, grass clippings, and shredded bark – is encouraged. Apply using the 3-3-3 rule:– 3 inches of mulch in a 3 foot ring with a 3 inch space around the tree trunk, and replenish it each year.

Do not put mulch directly on a tree’s trunk due to potential bark damage which may allow insects and disease to enter.


Getting Help

If you wish to plant, prune, or remove a tree in a public space, call 311 or go to 311 on-line.

BHCA’s liaison with the city’s Forestry Division conducts twice-yearly audits and reports the findings so that the tree canopy in Bolton Hill is improved and maintained. You may make your own call to 311 at any time about planting a new tree or removing a dead or damaged tree or a stump. Contact alston@comcast.net or lavdasg@sec.gov if you wish to make sure concerns about the trees in your block are included in the tree audit.

Find further information online for the city’s Forestry Division, or phone the main office for Recreation and Parks, 410-396-7900

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