Cobble Hill Tree Fund

CHTF Annual Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
at Cobble Hill Park
10:30am to 2:00pm

Join us at Clinton Street and Verandah Place!
Please download a copy of our flyer here.

CHTF Holiday Tree Chipping
Saturday, January 5, 2013

at Cobble Hill Park

Bring your holiday tree to Cobble Hill Park, at Clinton Street and Verandah Place to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city!

Join us to recycle your Christmas trees into wood chips.

These wood chips are used to nourish trees and plants on streets and gardens. Or, take home your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street tree.

This year, MulchFest will take place on January 12 & 13, 2013. Parks will host over 35 chipping sites and 35 additional drop-off locations: over 70 sites in all!

Last year, close to 24,000 Christmas trees citywide were recycled. Please help us top this number!

Please remember to remove all lights and ornaments before bringing the tree to a MulchFest site. Biodegradable bags will be provided if you wish to take some free mulch home.

You can download a copy of our flyer here.


Storm Damage to Cobble Hill Trees November 2012

Tree Down on Baltic Street

Cobble Hill sustained a considerable amount of damage to it's street trees during Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent Nor' Easter.

Tree Fund volunteers have surveyed the damage to the street trees of Cobble Hill. We have found that seven trees were either uprooted or severely damaged beyond saving. Another seven trees were severely damaged, and their fate is still to be determined. Additionally, another eight trees were moderately damaged. It's clear that a substantial number of trees will need replacing.

As it happened, we were doing our Fall tree planting when the storms hit. We were able to replace one of the trees that had been uprooted at 240-242 Baltic Street, and hope to replace several additional trees over the coming year.

We encourage Cobble Hill residents to contact us if their street tree needs replacing or serious pruning.

We have some funds available to help with these costs and we hope to raise more.

—CHTF Co-chairs, Tom Synnott and Georgia Willett

Recently Planted Trees

The Cobble Hill Tree Fund planted six trees in November of 2012, as part of our semi-annual plantings. You can view the young trees at the following locations:

211 Court Street - Brooklyn Bridge Realty
311 Baltic Street - across from IS 293
209 Congress Street
189 Amity Street
240-242 Baltic Street


The Fund is dedicated to planting trees, providing education on the care of trees, and the on-going beautification of our community.

Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. (USDA Forest Service Pamphlet #R1-92-100) Total: $162,000 — quite a return on a $750 investment!

We have a downloadable brochure (in PDF format) that has all the information you need on ordering, planting, and caring for your tree. You may view our brochure here. You may also contact us via email or telephone — please see our Contact Us page.

Important Information about Watering our Street Trees

A Cobble Hill Tree Fund member passed on the note and information below, sent out by our Boerum Hill neighbor, Margaret Cusack, of the Hoyt Street Association. It contains very useful reminders and important information regarding care of our street street trees during the hot weather. — CHTF

With all the hot weather that we are having, many of the street trees are stressed because they are not watered regularly. Please read the info below (provided by the NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation) and take an interest in the street tree nearest your home. (You might even consider adopting more than one tree.) Keeping containers of water near your front door will remind you to take care of your tree. Thanks.

—Margaret Cusack, Hoyt Street Association



  • Water each young tree 15-20 gallons once a week between May and October (that’s 3-4 large buckets).

  • Using a hand cultivator, loosen the top 2-3 inches of soil to alleviate compaction and help the water and air reach the roots.

  • Water slowly so the water penetrates the soil and does not run off of the surface.

  • Water at the soil level, not the leaves of shrubs and groundcovers.

  • If it rains 1 inch or more in a week's time period, you do not need to water.

Watering is the most important thing you can do for your street tree. It may also be the most difficult task to accomplish. Transporting water from the source to the tree is a challenge. Furthermore, because of compaction and pollution, urban soil is hydrophobic and difficult to penetrate. This means that you need to cultivate or loosen the soil so that the water can reach the tree's roots. There are a number of different tools and techniques available to aid your watering efforts.


  • Poke small holes at the bottom of a large trash-can. Fill it with 15-20 gallons of water and leave the trash can next to the tree overnight.

  • Ask building maintenance staff to water trees while they are hosing off sidewalks.

  • Ask street vendors and merchants to dump water from their containers (coolers with melted ice or flower buckets) into nearby tree pits at the end of the day. Make sure water with detergent or bleach is dumped into the gutter, not the tree pit.

  • Apply a three-inch layer of mulch, preferably shredded bark, to the tree pit. Mulch keeps the water from evaporating quickly, reduces soil compaction, and improves the soil as it breaks down. Do not pile the mulch against the trunk of the tree or shrub; water will accumulate and rot the trunk.

  • Prevent dogs from peeing and pooping in the tree pits.

  • Remove weeds and debris from the tree pits.