Tree FAQs

  1. Tree Commission

Harris Center

425 Perry St

  1. Email: webparksrec@auburnalabama.org
  2. Phone: (334) 501-2930
  3. Hours:  M-F: 8AM-5PM

Rebecca Richardson

Parks & Recreation Director

  1. Phone: (334) 501-2930
  2. Email: brichardson@auburnalabama.org

How are Tree Commission members selected?

Citizens can volunteer to be a member of the Tree Commission by submitting a resume to the members of the City Council, who make the final appointment.

How do I donate a tree to Kiesel Park?

By making a donation to the Tree Trust. The Tree Commission will work with city staff to purchase and plant a tree in a designated public space, such as Kiesel Park in Celebration Grove, Phase Two.

Why does the Tree Commission no longer put the name of the donor/honoree on a plaque by the donated tree?

The Tree Commission is working on implementing a "donation board" that will indicate who has donated to the Tree Trust. Tree donations will no longer be sponsored on an individual basis.

What does the City Tree Ordinance Cover?

Auburn's Municipal Tree Ordinance (Ordinance #1875) establishes methods for maintenance, protection, removal and replacement of trees on public property and to provide penalties for the violation thereof.

Do I have to get permission to cut down a healthy tree in my yard?

No. Trees on private property are not regulated by the City of Auburn.

When is the best time to plant a tree?

Generally, the best time to plant a tree is in the winter when the tree is dormant.

What is the proper way to plant a tree?

For specific planting instructions, please click here. To go to a tree-planting resource on the Arbor Day Foundation website, please click here.

What is the best way to prune a tree?

The National Arbor Day Foundation has excellent information on tree pruning - go to:

Pruning

What is the best way to prune a crepe myrtle?

Crepe myrtles are quite beautiful when allowed to grow naturally rather than "topping" them. If pruning is desired, use the method described above.

Should I mulch my trees?

Yes - mulch helps a tree retain water during drought and protects roots during cold months. Use compost, shredded leaves, pine straw, or shredded pine bark to mulch your tree. Be sure the mulch looks like a donut (NOT like a volcano!) so that the mulch is slightly pulled away from the trunk so that moisture and disease does not set in. Click here for more specific mulching information.

Benefits of mulch:

•Helps maintain soil moisture. Evaporation is reduced, and the need for watering can be minimized.

•Helps control weeds. A 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch will reduce the germination and growth of weeds.

•Mulch serves as nature's insulating blanket. Mulch keeps soils warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

•Many types of mulch can improve soil aeration, structure (aggregation of soil particles), and drainage over time.

•Some mulches can improve soil fertility.

•layer of mulch can inhibit certain plant diseases.

•Mulching around trees helps facilitate maintenance and can reduce the likelihood of damage from "weed whackers" or the dreaded "lawn mower blight."

•Mulch can give planting beds a uniform, well-cared-for look.

From http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx.

How do I fertilize my new trees?

Don't - immediate fertilizing may result in too much top growth relative to the roots - let the roots get established first.

What about staking my trees - I've heard you should, and I've heard you shouldn't?!

Young newly planted trees need to be able to sway to stimulate root growth. If you need to stake it, tie it loosely so that it has room to move in the wind. Do not tie too tightly, and do not use wire or string that will cut into the bark. Be sure to check it periodically, and to remove the ties so they do not become embedded as the tree grows.

I've got sawdust at the bottom of my pine tree - what does this mean?

You probably have a Southern Pine Beetle infestation.

How do I know if I have pine bark beetles?

Courtesy of the University of Florida:

Infestations usually occur in spots that gradually or rapidly enlarge with time. Red-crowned trees and surrounding green-needled pines should be examined for signs of infestation. Popcorn-like pitch tubes, running pitch, boring dust, and numerous holes through the bark are signs of bark beetle infestation.

What trees are fast growing?

Some fast growing trees are silver maple, tulip poplar, and Bradford pear - but be aware, fast growing trees are also short lived and tend to be brittle compared to slow growing trees such as oaks. This makes them susceptible to limb breakage from wind and ice. If you do plant a fast growing tree, choose the site carefully.

How deep do I dig my planting hole?

Only dig your planting hole as deep as the tree is in the pot (no deeper!), but the width of the hole should be at least twice as wide as the root ball. Your tree's roots will grow out more than they will grow down. Do not amend the hole, but rather fill it with your native soil. If soil is amended, the tree's roots will tend to circle around and stay within the area of the rich soil, compromising the health of the tree.

Another important thing to keep in mind when digging a planting hole is that the sides of the hole should be left roughened, as opposed to beingslick and hard, as is the tendency of clay-based soils that are common in this area.

I am adding-on to my home - how can I protect the existing trees on my lot from the construction equipment?

Talk to your builder to confirm his or her plans for protecting your trees and other landscape. The following web sites offer advice on protecting and saving trees during construction:

Protecting Trees from Construction Damage: A Homeowner's Guide

Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction

Treatment of Trees Damaged By Construction