What are those bags on all the trees?

City-owned trees decked out in Gator bags.

Urban Forestry staffers are filling 2,200 bags every week!

If you’ve noticed these strange looking dark green bags wrapped around the base of city-owned trees, take a closer look. Called “Tree Gators,” they irrigate the trees.  SDOT’s Urban Forestry crews are hopping busy watering nearly 2,200 newly-planted trees every week.   Watering trees for the first two to three summers after planting ensures the trees will survive and thrive. While our temperatures have been up and down for the past two months, the trees continue to need a steady supply of water and the tree gator bags do just that – they release water slowly into the ground around the trees.  The bags, which hold 20 gallons of water, drain for about five hours, which allows water to infiltrate deeply to promote healthy root development.    

Three of Urban Forestry’s tree trimmers have been specially licensed to operate the 2,000 gallon water trucks while three gardeners fill the water bags.   No easy task, the crews must hurry to fill the 2,200 bags once every week.  For more info about watering trees click here.