A few simple tasks! Help us by watering and weeding a new street tree for the summer season.
Watering is particularly important to trees for growth, resistance to disease and insects, temperature regulation, and overall health.
Tree Stewards fill the green watering bag(s) once or twice a week June through September.
Weeds use water! Weeding the circle of mulch at the base of the tree conserves water for tree roots, especially important during the dry summer months. Removing weeds also keeps our boulevards looking neat and presentable.
Tree Stewards use small hand tools to remove weeds from the woodchip mulch ring once a month June through September.
Adoption is Easy and Free
Step 1 Is there a newly planted street tree where you live or work? Search the map.
Step 2 Complete the application form and select Apply. You will receive an automatic reply and a confirmation phone call from us shortly.
Step 3 Receive your Welcome Letter and you are a Tree Steward! Begin caring for the tree assigned to you.
Please email with any questions.
Why be a tree steward?
As part of the continued implementation of the Urban Forest Management Strategy (2014) and bold response to the climate emergency, New Westminster is targeting to increase the city’s urban forest canopy cover to 27% by 2030. To achieve this goal, the City has a ten year Tree Planting Masterplan to guide the planting of over 500 new street trees per year.
Simple acts of stewardship go a long way to help our new street trees thrive so we can all enjoy the numerous benefits that a lush urban canopy provides.
We invite residents and businesses in the community where new street trees have been planted to consider becoming Tree Stewards.
What’s the time commitment?
June through September 2022. Help us by watering one to two times per week and weeding once per month.
Do street trees get watered for Their whole life?
No, watering occurs for the first 3 years after planting. This helps the tree adapt to its new home. After 3 years of watering, trees should be strtong enough to survive on their own.
I’m planning to be away this summer for vacation – what about water for my adopted street tree?
No problem! Feel free to ask a neighbour or let the City know (), and we can arrange to have the watering done while you’re away.
I adopted a tree but I still saw the City truck filling the water bags - why?
The City truck reaches all newly planted trees (more than 600!) only once every two weeks. Ideally our newly planted trees should receive water once a week and twice a week during hot weather.
Your efforts are valued - as a Tree Steward you are ensuring the best possible chance for your adopted tree to reach its full potential. We need your help and are pleased to work together to help trees.
Who provides the green watering bags?
The watering bags belong to the City and are installed by the City in June and removed in early October.
HOW MANY NEW STREET TREES CAN I ADOPT?
One tree per household or business to begin. City staff will follow-up as quantities and locations allow.
Not all addresses have a newly planted street tree. Check your address on the map.
Do I use my own garden hose and gardening hand tools?
Yes please! The City does not provide hoses, jugs or tools, so please ensure you have access to a water source, hose, and tools before signing up to adopt a new street tree.
Can I plant flowers under the new street tree?
Please do not plant flowers or shrubs under City trees. Shrubs and flowers compete with trees for moisture and soil resources. Planting activities also disturb tree roots.
My new street tree is too tall. Can I prune the tree?
No, please do not prune, cut, or trim the new street tree. All pruning maintenance is performed by City staff. If you notice a problem or have a concern, please report this to the Parks Department, or 604-527-4567.
How do I know if I’m under-watering or over-watering the new street tree?
Droopy or curling leaves are a sign of under-watering. Checking the condition of the soil at the base of the tree with your fingers offers other clues: Soil that is dry and crumbly more than 2 cm (1”) below the surface should be watered.
Over-watering generally isn’t a problem with the green water bags. Water release is slow from the bag, allowing the water to fully penetrate the soil and for any extra to move away from the tree.