CROWN HEIGHTS — For those looking to branch out this weekend, a local community garden has a freebie that’s one in a million.
One hundred young trees are up for adoption on Sunday at the Walt Shamel Community Garden on Dean Street between Franklin and Bedford avenues. The giveaway is part of the Million Trees NYC initiative hosted by the Crow Hill Community Association, who say they’ll have four types of saplings up for grabs: American Hornbeams, Eastern Red Cedars, Eastern Redbuds and Flowering Dogwoods. But you better move fast if you want one of the blossoming types.
“Everybody’s doing the redbuds and the dogwoods,” said Judy Bartlett, a Crow Hill member helping with the event. She said about two-thirds of the trees have already been spoken for through online registration, but walk-ins are welcome to anyone who has room for a tree on their property.
“This is really about people who happen to have the luxury of having a backyard or a front yard or somewhere to put it in the ground,” Bartlett said, adding that can mean schools, stores, churches, community facilities or common green spaces at apartment complexes.
She said the saplings are easy to carry home — some are only about two or three feet high — and new owners will get lots of information on care from the New York Restoration Project, the non-profit contracted by the city to help with the Million Trees effort.
“You pick what kind of tree and they tell you about whether it likes sun or shade,” among other things, she said. “They’re very organized.”
Every tree is free, but each potential caretaker must abide by three rules before taking their new sapling home: all new trees must be planted within the five boroughs, new owners must properly water and maintain their tree and they cannot be planted along streets, in containers, on terraces, balconies or roofs.
The free tree giveaway starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 4. All pre-registered tree adoptees must pick up their tree between 11 a.m and 12 p.m. Anyone walking in to pick up a tree must do so between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. To reserve a tree online, visit treegiveaways.com/chca.