Summer 2020 Newsletter

New to Tree Eastie?

Welcome! Tree Eastie is an urban forestry collaboration covering all six neighborhoods of East Boston. Our focus is on tree education, planting and maintenance. We partner with Boston Parks and Recreation Department, Speak for the Trees, our local neighborhood associations as well as other local environmental groups. At only 7% tree coverage, Eastie has one of the lowest tree canopies in the city. If you appreciate nature, care for the environment, enjoy giving back to your community or want to improve our neighborhood, please consider joining our mission.

Tree Eastie Plants its First Tree!

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Tree Eastie planted our first tree in May! This fir tree was being used as a living Christmas tree by a local family and outgrew its pot. Our friends at Eastie Farm found the perfect spot at their Chelsea Terrace site for the tree with plenty of room to grow.

We’re excited to celebrate this fir tree as the first of many trees to be planted by Tree Eastie!

While summer is not ideal for planting trees, this fall Tree Eastie plans to get many more trees in the ground across our community, focusing on areas with the highest heat island effect.

Can you Dig it?

Planting trees can be a rewarding activity that benefits our community; a win-win for you and the environment! Fall is the best time to get trees in the ground so we are looking for volunteers to help dig holes and plant trees across East Boston. We will conduct training in advance and make provisions for socially distanced planting. The plan is to plant over a few weekends from September 15 to October 31. No experience necessary – you just need to be willing to get your hands dirty! Tree Eastie will provide the tools and instruction. If you’d like to participate in this fun, community project, please sign up here

Drought Takes its Toll on People and Trees. Here’s How You Can Help.

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Trees need lots of water to survive, particularly in their first two years as they establish their root system. In fact, new trees need a minimum of 20 gallons of water per week — that’s 4 large orange Home Depot buckets! During droughts such as the one we’re experiencing now, they need much more than that. If you have a tree near your home that contains a big green water bag, fill it up whenever it’s empty. Trees without a bag can be watered directly into the soil. A regular deep soaking under the tree canopy during early morning or late evening is the most effective method.

Better yet, Eastie Farm (www.eastiefarm.com) and Tree Eastie have teamed up to bring low cost rain barrels to residents. These 60 gallon olive green plastic drums conserve water and save money while preventing pollutants found in storm water from entering our waterways. Learn more about rain barrel benefits and order one on line here.

Lastly, across East Boston, the NOAH youth group, N-Yo has been watering street trees since early July. Three teams of two fill up their water containers and transport them by bike trailers throughout the busy streets of East Boston. Our local firehouses and community gardens have allowed access to water which makes the job much more efficient. Each week these young citizens water over 200 street trees across Eastie. Be sure to thank the kids when you see them watering our trees…it’s hard work trailering those heavy water containers! You can also help by adopting trees in your neighborhood and watering them to ensure their survival.

Interesting Tree Facts

Did you know…?

  • One tree can absorb as much carbon in a year as a car produces by driving 26,000 miles
  • Studies show that chemicals released by trees reduce blood pressure and anxiety
  • An average tree produces 260 pounds of oxygen a year — enough to supply two people
  • Tree shaded surfaces can be 20-30 degrees cooler than surfaces in direct sun
  • Legend says the expression “knock on wood” came from ancient pagan cultures who believed spirits resided in trees and knocked on their trunks for good fortune

Where Would You Like to See Trees Planted in East Boston?

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Kennedy School
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Day Square
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Liberty Plaza

With only 7% tree canopy, Eastie needs more trees in order to catch up to the city of Boston average canopy of 28%. The lack of trees leads to high heat island zones like parts of Saratoga, Meridian, Bennington, Chelsea and Border Streets as well as Maverick, Central and Day Squares. Not to mention our school playgrounds. Tell us where you’d like to see more trees….more trees please!

Do you Count?

As we begin to build our roadmap towards a healthier, greener East Boston, inventorying street trees is an important first step. This helps to better understand the condition of our current tree base, how to improve our tree diversity, and where trees are needed most. Tree Eastie has been using Open Tree Map, an app provided by Speak for the Trees to conduct this inventory. So far we have identified 220 open tree wells ready for new trees to be planted. Our goal is to inventory all existing street trees by the end of the year. Would you like to help us with this fun, family-friendly socially distanced exercise? Training is virtual and the work can be done independently by signing up for a block or two in your neighborhood. Visit www.treeeastie.org to learn more.

Up Next:

Look for our Fall Newsletter where we remember the Olmsted-designed, green oasis of Wood Island Park, discuss the concept of tree equity, provide updates on where we’re planting trees, and explore the undiscovered urban wilds in East Boston.