WELCOME to the website for Trees for Watertown, Watertown's volunteer citizen tree advocacy group!
Trees for Watertown's mission is to care for our community and environment, by
• promoting the planting and preservation of shade trees • serving as an educational resource as to the beauty, value, and requirements of trees • collaborating with town departments, local, regional and national organizations, and the public to support a healthy urban forest in Watertown, Massachusetts.
June 30, 2015: Watertown Town Council unanimously approved the following tree-protective language in Watertown's Design Guidelines:
Design must allow for proposed trees to grow to their mature size. Planning documents should specify measures to ensure that there is sufficient space for water penetration and root growth and that the location is appropriate to the mature size of the proposed tree.
This formal acknowledgement of the importance of trees as critical green infrastructure is a real first, a watershed moment for Watertown. Now to make sure Watertown can follow through!
May, 2015: TFW planted the last three Osage Orange trees from our Grove Street tree nursery into fairly harsh street sites. This is the second phase in our experiment to see whether this hardy tree species does well as an urban street tree. This is also an experiment with bare-root street tree planting.
As of May 2015 the five Osage Oranges planted in Spring 2014 were doing excellently under the care of their neighborhood tree stewards.
September, 2014: Contractors for the MassDOT Trapelo Road/ Belmont Street Corridor Project continued to explicitly violate the excellent comprehensive tree protections in the MassDOT contract for this work, despite repeated alerts to MassDOT and Belmont. The result has been severe and continuing tree damage.
Crushing and tearing injuries to roots and root suffocation due to soil compaction are insidious. Loss of structural roots will destabilize the tree. Depending on the extent of loss of feeder roots and of opportunistic infection, it may take several seasons for healthy trees to show decline - long after the contractors have packed up and left.
This is why protective measures are so important.
CLICK HERE to go to a photo album of MassDOT Project damage to Belmont trees.
On Saturday, April 5, 2014, TFW transplanted five Osage Orange trees from the Grove Street Community Garden tree nursery to street sites where neighboring citizens have volunteered to water them.
Big thanks for a successful effort go to Watertown's Tree Warden Chris Hayward and Leo's Landscaping for preparing the planting sites, to our hard-working TFW transplant team, and to our volunteer neighborhood tree stewards!
Here's the new Standish St. Osage Orange with two of its neighbor tree stewards.
The Successful Tree Planting Initiative is a series of articles from the Massachusetts Urban & Community Forestry Program detailing how to improve urban shade tree survival. (Quick summary: plant them right!)
Here are links to these hugely informative articles.
Without adequate municipal supervision, and despite explicit tree-protective contract language, shade trees routinely suffer serious damage in road and sidewalk reconstruction work - especially to root systems.
Loss of a healthy urban tree has major, long-term negative impact on its neighborhood.
PLEASE HELP PROTECT OUR SHADE TREES!
Here's a picture from Cambridge of the minimum protective barrier recommended during construction work.
The City of Cambridge strives to make sure contractors are protecting street trees. Watertown should follow this good example.
If you observe construction or pruning activities that you feel may be damaging public shade trees, please notify TFW and CONTACT THE TREE WARDEN AND YOUR TOWN COUNCILOR IMMEDIATELY.
Utility pruning can seriously damage trees. See below for an example of the aggressive pruning protocol Eversource (formerly NSTAR) subscribes to. For email or text message announcements about public shade tree hearings or utility pruning schedules, go to Watertown's NOTIFY ME website and select Tree Warden.