Street Trees

Plant A Tree Today

Our Challenge

We plan to plant 10,000 trees in Nashville over the next 5 years. These trees will improve Nashville in so many ways: reduce storm water runoff, cool the city’s heat island, beautify our streets and neighborhoods. Be part of this effort: plant trees with Project Blue Streams or plant trees in your yard – let us know about it and we’ll add your trees to the count!









The Value of Trees

Some of the intercepted water evaporates back into the atmosphere, and some soaks into the ground reducing the total amount of runoff that must be managed in urban areas. Trees also slow storm flow, reducing the volume of water that a containment facility must store. For example, in the Metropolitan Washington DC region, the existing 46 % tree canopy reduces the need for retention structures by 949 million cubic feet, valued at $4.7 billion per 20-year construction cycle (based on a $5/cubic foot construction cost).

Nashville’s impervious surfaces have increased by 20% over the past 2 decades in urban areas at a cost in excess of $100 billion nationally. Local governments are increasingly looking toward non-built stormwater management strategies, including trees to reduce the cost of constructing stormwater control infrastructure.

Where Should You Begin

Choose the right tree. Plant it properly, maintain and protect it.


How to Plant a Bare Root Seedling

  1. Determine the best planting location, keeping in mind the location of overhead and underground utilities. Select an area large enough to handle tree at maturity.
  2. Dig hole wider than what seems necessary in order to help the roots spread out more easily, but no deeper than the roots. Remove grass in immediate area to reduce competition for water and nutrients.
  3. Plant tree at the same depth or deeper than it was planted at the nursery. Look for the mark left by the soil on the trunk. Ensure that all of the roots point down.
  4. Fill with the soil that came out of the hole. Do not add any other types of soil or fertilizer. Make sure that all air pockets are sealed by applying pressure to the soil surrounding the seedling. Pack the soil firmly but not tightly.
  5. Construct a water basin by mounding soil around the tree several inches away from the trunk. This will direct water towards the roots.
  6. Water tree thoroughly.
  7. Apply a layer of mulch 2 inches deep and 3 feet in diameter in a circular shape around tree, but avoiding the trunk. The mulch will keep moisture in the soil and keep lawn mowers and weed eaters away.


How often do I need to water the tree? 

A tree seedling needs one inch of water per week. During dry times it is important to water your tree at least once a week, sometimes even twice. Always water the tree slowly so the water has time to soak into the soil.

When is the best time to plant?

The best time to plant seedlings in the southern U.S. is between mid-December and mid-March, this will give roots time to settle into their new environment and prepare to supply water to the buds and foliage when warmer temperatures arrive. Temperatures that range between 35–60 degrees F are best for planting. Higher temperatures cause transpiration to increase and will dry the roots. Lower temperatures could freeze the roots, causing mortality.

For More Information About Planting A Tree