FAQs on Adopt-a-Tree
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Anyone can participate, from individuals to groups such as clubs, businesses, community organizations, or school classes. It will probably be most successful when you choose a tree with which you have regular contact, such as one adjoining your property or in a location that you frequent regularly. We particularly welcome families with children because we want to engage children in the nurture and love of trees. Don't worry if you don't have tree care expertise! We will provide the guidance and materials you need to learn what you need to know.
WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILTIES?
Trees in the program are either new stock or trees that have a particular concern, such as susceptibility to a particular pest (for example, emerald ash borer). Tree adopters will monitor overall health, and let the Town know of any issues such as safety concerns, broken or damaged limbs, or pruning needs. You will monitor for pests or other threats, and keep the tree mulched. Newly planted trees will need occasional watering while they are becoming established, particularly during dry periods. You may be asked to do some simple mitigation measures, for example, putting up caterpillar barriers for spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth).
WHAT SHOULDN'T I DO?
The Town will still be responsible for any major work needed. For example, you should not do (or contract out) any pruning, pesticide treatment, or dead limb removal. If the Town has placed watering bags or stakes on new trees, you should leave those in place until they are removed by the Town. And naturally, you would not do anything that would harm the tree, such as inserting nails or screws, or tying cords or ropes around the truck or limbs. If you have questions about anything in particular, please contact the program administrator.
HOW DO I FIND A TREE TO ADOPT?
Use the Essex Street Tree Dashboard, a web map of the Town's street trees, including those available for adoption.
Newly planted trees will be fitted with a tag stating that they are available for adoption. If you have a favorite street tree that is not in the program, you can contact the Town to see if it could be included.
WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT ABOUT ADOPTING A TREE?
Contact the program administrator:
Darren Schibler, Town Planner
81 Main St.
Essex Junction, VT 05452
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ADOPT A TREE?
You will be registered as the adopter of your tree in the Town database. You may choose to be listed by name or remain anonymous. You will sign a tree adopter agreement that spells out the particulars of the program. Information on your species of tree may be found on the Town web site under the Adopt-a-tree program. You may make a marker to place near your tree. Some suggestions for this are available on the web site. Then, care for and enjoy your tree!
IS THIS A LIFELONG COMMITMENT?
Don't worry, the answer is no. If your circumstances change and you are not able to continue, simply contact the program administrator and let them know. The tree will be relisted as available for adoption.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE?
Generally, the tree care would be done just as you would care for a tree on your own property. For example, when you mulch in the spring, you would just include your adopted tree in your normal care schedule.
WHAT ABOUT COSTS OF MATERIALS?
It is hoped that tree adopters will be able to purchase any incidental materials, such as mulch for example. If you wish to adopt a tree and your financial circumstances don't permit this, please contact that Town and other arrangements can be made.
WHAT IF I NOTICE A PROBLEM?
If you notice that the tree is unhealthy, has a pest infestation, is damaged, or presents a danger to traffic, pedestrians, or property, please contact the program administrator at the Town of Essex.
WHAT IF MY TREE DIES?
Don't worry, it's not your fault. Despite the best intentions and actions, trees do not always thrive. If the site is suitable, the Town may replace a tree that has died. In some instances, particularly in the past, trees were planted in unsuitable locations, and in this case, the Town may opt not to replace the tree.