Info for Current or Past Tree Leaders

PNPP NEIGHBORHOOD TREE LEADERS – Please report any trees planted in the last 3 seasons as part of a PNPP Neighborhood Planting Award that have NOT survived:


This will allow us to better assess and prevent tree mortality, and hopefully to replace the tree that died!




Neighborhood Tree Leader Responsibilities  Before Planting Day

You will receive a list of the addresses and number of trees at each address we have approved from your original list.

Walk through your planting route and compare the T’s on the curb to your revised request.

Check in with everyone scheduled to receive a tree and make sure that they:

  • Still want the tree(s) and are okay with the tree’s location
  • Understand and agree to approximately 4×6 feet (+/-) of sidewalk being removed where each tree is planted (we do leave at least 3 ft of sidewalk for ADA standards.
  • Are able to plant with us, or participate in some other way, during the planting.
  • Understand that they will need to water once a week, weed regularly and mulch yearly!

If you see discrepancies that don’t make sense to you, or find that people scheduled to receive trees no longer want them, or do not want a part of their sidewalk removed, please call Cassie Tharinger at 368-5380 as soon as possible so we can clarify before the contractor begins work cutting the sidewalk.

Secure a back up organizer for tree planting day in case you are not able to be there.

Arrange for someone to provide water/refreshments for the beginning and/or end of the planting route—this will help keep everyone happy! (This is a great job to assign a participant who might not be able to do as much physical planting work.)

Take pictures—you’ll want to document the day, and have something to compare the trees to in 20 years, when they’re 35 feet tall!  (Another good job to assign someone who can’t do as much “heavy lifting”.) “Before & After” pictures are also fun, so you can see what a difference the trees make.

Feel free to call with any last minute info or questions on or before planting day! (401) 368-5380.


Other Suggestions

Encourage neighbors to come out and help plant even if they didn’t get a tree. Kids are always welcome with parental supervision!

Call or email your Council Person and invite him/her to your planting.

Have materials on hand to put up small barriers, such as fencing or sturdy wooden posts, to keep animals out of the tree well and/or protect the trees.

Take pictures—you’ll want to document the day, and have something to compare the trees to 20 years from now, when they’re 35 feet tall!



Reminders & Requirements for Planting Day

  1. Scoop out holes for the trees in the center of the prepped pits before we arrive: 2 feet long by 2 feet wide and 1 foot deep (If you dig your holes out the night before, please put something over the hole so no one will fall in!)
  1. Gather participants at the starting address and time. Wait there for PNPP to arrive and hold the planting demonstration–do not plant before this, even if the trees are there!
  1. Divide participants into groups of 2 to 3 people for each tree.
  1. Each group should ideally have: 2 to 3 shovels, a pair of pruning shears, a sharp utility knife or scissors, a small narrow saw, a garden rake, and a broom.
  1. Everyone should wear boots and gloves (absolutely no open toed shoes or bare hands!)
  1. Hook up several hoses for watering. If you can’t reach a location with a hose, haul water with buckets. Water all trees the day they are planted and thereafter with 10-20 gallons a week until Halloween.
  1. Mulch each tree with mulch the Forestry Department will provide. If people want to use decorative mulch, they must purchase it beforehand and mulch on planting day.
  1. Clean up area with brooms and rakes.




Dig a shallow, broad, planting hole: Make the hole wide, as much as 2-3 times the diameter of the root ball but only as deep as the root ball.

Identify the root flare: The root flare is where the roots spread at the base of the tree. This point should be partially visible after the tree has been planted. If the trunk flare is not partially visible, you may have to remove some soil from the top of the root ball. Find it so you can determine how deep the hole needs to be for proper planting.

For containerized trees, remove tree: Carefully cutting down the sides of the container may make this easier. Inspect the root ball for circling roots and cut or remove them. Expose the trunk flare, if necessary.

Place the tree at the proper height: Before placing the tree in the hole, check to see that the hole has been dug to the proper depth and no more. To avoid damage when setting the tree in the hole, always lift the tree by the root ball and trunk, and never by the trunk alone.

Straighten the tree in the hole: Before you begin backfilling, have someone view the tree from several directions to confirm that the tree is straight. Once you begin backfilling, it is difficult to reposition the tree.

Fill the hole gently but firmly: Fill the hole about one-third full and gently but firmly tamp the soil around the base of the root ball. Then, if the root ball is wrapped, cut and remove any fabric, plastic, string, and wire from around the trunk and root ball to facilitate growth (see diagram). Be careful not to damage the trunk or roots in the process.   Fill the remainder of the hole, taking care to firmly pack soil to eliminate air pockets that may cause roots to dry out. To avoid this problem, add the soil a few inches at a time and settle with water. Continue this process until the hole is filled and the tree is firmly planted. It is not recommended to apply fertilizer at the time of planting.

Mulch the base of the tree: Mulch is simply organic matter applied to the area at the base of the tree. It acts as a blanket to hold moisture, it moderates soil temperature extremes, and it reduces competition from grass and weeds. Some good choices are leaf litter, pine straw, shredded bark, peat moss, or composted wood chips. A 2- to 4-inch layer is ideal. More than 4 inches may cause a problem with oxygen and moisture levels. When placing mulch, be sure that the actual trunk of the tree is not covered.

Provide follow-up care: Keep the soil moist but not soaked; overwatering causes leaves to turn yellow or fall off. Water trees 10-20 gallons at least once a week, barring rain, and more frequently during hot weather. When the soil is dry below the surface of the mulch, it is time to water. Continue until mid-fall, tapering off for lower temperatures that require less-frequent watering.


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