Surrey Parks’ stewardship programs co-ordinator, Trevor Kavanagh, talks about tree watering bags in a video posted to the city’s website (surrey.ca).

Surrey Parks’ stewardship programs co-ordinator, Trevor Kavanagh, talks about tree watering bags in a video posted to the city’s website (surrey.ca).

Surrey’s thirsty street trees could use help of residents to survive hot summer

Tree watering bags and buckets with holes pre-drilled help hydrate them

During this hot summer, with little rain in the immediate forecast, many of Surrey’s 80,000 public street trees need extra water to survive.

“City staff water trees on a schedule, but we could use your help,” says a post on surrey.ca.

Street trees don’t have the same ability to retain water as trees planted in parks or yards, the post elaborates.

“They are boxed in by streets and sidewalks and have less soil volume to retain water. They also are exposed to more heat from the road and sidewalks and don’t benefit from being part of a forest or grove. All of this leads to them needing more care to stay hydrated.”

• RELATED STORY: Surrey’s homeless community in need of bottled water, sunscreen during heatwave.

Crews put watering bags at the base of young trees, as explained in a “Surrey Street Tree Watering Tips & Tricks” video posted to surrey.ca and also YouTube.

“Trees want to be watered slowly, and over a long time,” the post continues. “We install tree watering bags that release water through small holes in the bag over 4-6 hours. If there is a bag on a street tree near your home, you can fill it up twice per week.”

For larger trees, city-issued buckets with holes pre-drilled for easy watering are available for residents who want to help. Email parks@surrey.ca or call 604-501-5050 to request a bucket.

“We install watering bags on young trees, but older trees need water too, especially in the extraordinary heat we are seeing this year,” the webpost says. “Drill holes in the bottom of a big bucket, and then you are ready to water.”

Benefits of watered, healthy street trees include cooler, cleaner air, more beautiful streetscapes, more habitat for animals and better physical and mental health for residents, the post adds. “Remember to find out when water restrictions are in effect before watering.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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