Elgin T.R.E.E. Initiative

Texas Arbor Day

Join the Elgin Parks & Recreation Department in “greening” the City of Elgin by planting 150 trees in Elgin for the "Tree Replanting Elgin Experiment" or T.R.E.E. Initiative! We encourage citizens, organizations and businesses to commit to purchasing and planting one or more trees in their space this November to help grow the green in Elgin for the next 150 years! 

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Step 1: Check out our list of preferred native trees to plant in Elgin listed below.

Step 2: Purchase your tree and get ready to plant it in November! Need suggestions? Check out the list of local businesses providing discounted trees for the event!

Step 3: Plant your tree at your home, business or organization.

Step 4: Sign the T.R.E.E. Pledge! This shows your commitment to keeping your tree!

Step 5: Take pictures and share them with @ElginTXParks and email them to parks@elgintexas.gov so we can add them to our portfolio of 150 newly planted trees in Elgin!

Why do we plant trees? 

  1. You’re giving a gift to your descendants: Trees can live hundreds of years, so when you plant one, you’re giving a gift to your children and grandchildren. It’s a symbol of your commitment to the environment and humanity that will live beyond your lifetime; remember "it's a wise man who plants trees in whose shade he will never sit".
  2. Trees clean the air and help you breathe: Trees absorb CO2, odors and pollutants like ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone. It’s estimated that one tree can absorb nearly 10 lbs of polluted air each year and releases 260 pounds of oxygen annually.
  3. Trees prevent soil erosion and rainwater runoff: Leaf canopies help buffer the falling rain and roots hold the soil in place, encouraging the water to seep into the ground rather than run off causing flood water. 
  4. Trees increase our home’s value: Studies show that having trees in your yard can increase your home’s property value by 15% because trees improve curb appeal.  
  5. You’ll attract birds and pollinators: Trees provide nesting sites, food and shelter for your birds, squirrels and more. 
  6. Trees are good for your mental and physical health: A view of trees in urban areas has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and even the crime rate. Tree-filled gardens on hospital grounds speed healing in hospital patients. 
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Who Can Participate?

Individuals, businesses and organizations are all invited to participate by planting trees. We encourage organizations such as clubs, non-profits and churches to plant multiple trees on their property and create groups to care for the trees. Individuals can participate by planting a tree on their property, or joining the Elgin Parks & Recreation Department at the Texas Arbor Day event to plant a tree in the park! 

If you want to help sponsor tree planting, but you can't plant and commit to care for one of your own, reach out to parks@elgintexas.gov and we'll get you set up as a tree sponsor!


What Type of Tree to Plant? 

We recommend planting native trees for shade and ornamental purposes. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions where they naturally occur. These important plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds and other animals.  

Native plants are also advantageous, because:

  • Native plants do not require fertilizers and require fewer pesticides than lawns.
  • Native plants require less water than lawns and help prevent erosion.
  • Native plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage.
Suggested native tree include:
  • Bur Oak
  • Post Oak
  • White Oak
  • Escarpment Oak
  • Red Oak
  • Shumard Oak
  • Carolina Buckthorn
  • Black Willow
  • Eastern Sycamore
  • Loblolly Pine
  • Red Mulberry
  • Cedar Elm
  • Texas Redbud
  • Mexican Buckeye
  • Chicksaw Plum
  • Mexican Plum
  • Yaupon Holly
  • Possumhaw Holly
  • Dogwood
  • Pecan
Want more suggestions on native and adaptive plants? Click here. 

Remember, it's important to avoid invasive plants. Invasive plants harm ecosystems by out-competing native plants that are necessary for the survival of local flora and fauna. See more information on invasive species here

When to plant?

Plant your new trees as early as possible during the Central Texas planting season (October 1st through March 31st). Planting in the cool, wet season allows the roots of your new trees to become established before the trees are subjected to Texas’ hot, dry summers. Texas Arbor Day is the first Friday in November, and Elgin celebrates Texas Arbor Day annually on the first Saturday of November in Elgin Memorial Park.

Where to plant?

First look at the predicted mature height and spread of your trees to make sure your trees have adequate room to grow. Trees should not be planted where they will eventually interfere with utility lines or equipment. Provide an area that will receive adequate sunlight and water, in soil with drainage that will not be compacted by driving over it. 

How to plant your tree

How to Plant Your Tree:

  1. Select the right tree for your place. Determine your planting goals match the mature size, soil and moisture requirements of your trees for the site.
  2. Mark out a planting area 2-5 times wider than the rootball diameter. Loosen this area to about an 8-inch depth. This will enable your tree to extend a dense mat of tiny roots well out into the soil in the first 1-10 weeks in the ground.
  3. In the center of the planting area, dig a hole at least 2-3 times the diameter of the rootball and no deeper than the depth of soil in the rootball. The bottom of the ball should rest on solid undisturbed soil when finished, the soil at the base of the tree should be as high on the trunk as it was in the container.
  4. Make sure the sides of the hole are rough and uneven. In very hard soils, a rough edged hole may help allow new roots to grow out into the surrounding soil.
  5. Place the tree in the hole. If the tree is in a container, pull the container away from the rootball. Don’t pull the tree out by its trunk. Place the rootball in the center of the hole. Adjust the tree to it sits straight and at the proper level. Stand back and look at the tree now before you put the soil back into the hole. You can make careful adjustments to the hole at this point without seriously harming the rootball.
  6. For balled and burlapped trees, rest the rootball in the center of the hole. Reshape the hole so the tree will be straight and at the proper level. After adjusting the tree, pull the burlap and any other material away from the sides and top of the rootball. Gently remove the material from the hole.
  7. Backfill with original soil. Mixing fertilizer, compost or other material with the soil is not recommended.
  8. Fill until the hole is half full. Flood the hole with a slow hose or tamp gently with your foot to firm the soil. Repeat until the hole is full. Press only firm enough to hold the tree upright. The best soil for root growth has spaces for both air and water. Large air pockets can cause problems.
  9. Construct a small dam or berm three feet in diameter around the tree. This dam will help hold water until it soaks into the soil, rather than it running off across the surface.
  10. Cover the entire loosened area of soil, including the berm, with 3-4 inches of mulch. For example, you can use shredded wood or bark, compost, or dry leaves. Mulch will slow water loss, reduce weeds and grasses, moderate soil temperature and provide small amounts of nutrients.
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Resources:

The City of Elgin Parks & Recreation Department partners with a number of wonderful organizations to provide resources to our community including Tree Folks, the Austin Watershed Protection Department and Texas A&M Forestry Service. For more information on planting trees in Texas, visit the below links.

  • City of Austin Grow Green Program: www.austintexas.gov.growgreen
  • City of Austin Tree Programs: www.austintexas.gov/trees/programs.htm
  • City of Austin Urban Heat Island Mitigation Program: www.austintexas.gov/urbanheatisland
  • Tree Folks: www.treefolks.org
  • Fruit & Nut Tree Guide for Central Texas: www.treefolks.org
  • Managing Trees Near Power Lines: www.austinenergy.com/go/trees
  • Texas Forest Service: http://txforestservice.tamu.edu
  • Green Building Program: www.greenbuilding.austinenergy.com
  • Austin Urban Forestry Program: www.austintexas.gov/parks/forestry.htm