The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation awarded BQLT an Urban & Community Forestry Grant totaling $30,940, which enables BQLT to hire professional arborists to carry out necessary tree pruning and removal across numerous BQLT gardens. This vital tree maintenance work will be underway during Winter 2022 in 14 BQLT gardens. As part of the educational focus of the grant, BQLT is partnering with Trees New York to offer a special Citizen Pruner course with 20 BQLT gardeners in March 2022. Our goal is to get course participants from as many different BQLT gardens as possible to spread the tree knowledge/skills. We are also hosting several Trees NY fruit tree-pruning workshops in BQLT gardens in the coming season.
On December 4th 2021, we held our first fruit tree pruning demonstration with Trees NY Trainer, Sam Bishop, at Central Bainbridge Street Community Garden in Bed Stuy during the monthly BQLT Operations Meeting. We had a wonderful turnout of 28+ people on this unseasonably warm day. Gardeners learned many basic fruit tree care tips, including the 3-cut method (for pruning tree branches) using a long pole pruner. We excitedly watched as Kwame Agyapon (Board member/Central Bainbridge) and Nora McCaully (Garden Rep/David Foulke) demonstrated pruning on an apple tree. It gave us a taste of what skills and know-how we will gain from Trees NY in the coming months. We will co-sponsor two more fruit tree care workshops in Spring/Summer 2022.
We are currently planning for our BQLT Arbor Day Event scheduled for Saturday May 7th, to be held in conjunction with the first in-person BQLT Operations Meeting of 2022 [location/time TBD]. Arbor Day is a national celebration of trees: “From our backyards to tropical rainforests, trees around the world are hard at work providing the necessities of life. Trees clean our air and water, provide habitat for wildlife, connect communities, and support our health and well-being.” [Source: https://www.arborday.org/trees/ ]
For all ages: test your Tree ID skills at: https://www.arborday.org/kids/leaf-id/
To get involved with the BQLT Tree Committee, learn about the Citizen pruner course or other tree workshops, please contact Tree Committee Co-Chair/Board Member Ashley Cruce (McIntosh Garden, Queens) firstname.lastname@example.org.