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Richmond needs help keeping thousands of trees alive this summer

RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond needs help watering newly-planted trees around town.

The Department of Public Works and the Richmond Tree Stewards would like you to fill empty green water bags (aka gator bags) that you see wrapped around newly planted trees near your home. Those trees are in jeopardy of dying due to this summer’s relatively dry conditions.

“Those [trees] planted within the past three years are at a greater risk,” the city wrote in an email. “The water bags provide a continuous supply of water to the trees until the bags are empty.”

Newly-planted trees need 15 gallons of water each week, or about one inch of rainfall, according to the city.

Last year the city’s Urban Forestry Division planted 2,250 trees in Richmond. This year it planned to plant 2,300 trees. The division also maintains Richmond’s 110,000 city-owned trees.

“A city contractor waters new trees during the first year,” the city advised. “Adopt-A-Tree participants and city crews water them during the second and third years.

The National Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Richmond as a “Tree City USA.”

“Communities achieve Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day,” the National Arbor Day Foundation said.

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