LEGACY TREES PROGRAM

The Legacy Trees Program is committed to promoting the benefits of trees, supporting the cultural heritage of Texas, and engaging the public through volunteer and planting opportunities.

Trees help improve public health, the environment, and the economy. A healthy and well-managed urban forest maintains the composition, structure, and integrity of the forest ecosystem. Protecting and promoting these resources leads to cleaner air and water, reduced stormwater runoff, lower energy costs, and improved health.

With your help, Precinct 4 can grow into a greener, healthier place to work and live. Volunteer to care for heirloom fruit and nut trees along the trails or foster a historic tree. Want to help preserve history? Share in the heritage and development of Texas by fostering your own legacy tree. Schools, nonprofits, and Harris County Precinct 4 residents are invited to apply.

What is a Legacy Tree?
A historic, champion, or native heirloom fruit tree

  • One acre of trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people every day.
  • During a heavy rain storm, a healthy forest can absorb as much as 20,000 gallons of water in an hour.
  • Forested areas absorb 10-15 times more water than grassy areas.
  • Healthy trees can increase residential property values up to 15 percent.
  • Communities with trees may spend less money on stormwater management infrastructure.
  • Customers are willing to pay up to 10 percent more for certain goods and services on a tree-lined street.
  • Trees act as natural water filters that can reduce stormwater runoff, soil erosion, and flooding.
  • Streets with little or no shade need to be repaved twice as often as those with tree cover.
  • For every dollar invested in planting, cities see an average of $2.25 return on investment each year.

1. When do I plant? Planting season begins in the fall and continues through the early spring. The best time to plant is immediately following leaf drop to give the tree plenty of time to establish a healthy root system before summer.

2. What species? Consider your area’s environment before selecting a tree species. Are you planting in wet lowlands or dry uplands? Do you need a tree that primarily provides shade or protection from the wind?

3. Where? Check for utilities and infrastructure that the tree may eventually obstruct. Always call Texas 811 before you dig to avoid planting over utilities.

4. Preparing your tree: Cut away any circling or matted roots, and quarter the bottom half of the root ball with a sharpshooter. Dig a broad hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball. Backfill the hole with native soil so that the top of the root ball will sit at ground level.

5. Planting: Lift the tree by the root ball and situate it so that the trunk is straight and the root ball sits at ground level. You can adjust the depth of your hole by backfilling it with native soil. Once the tree is in position, fill the hole with native soil. Staking isn’t necessary unless the tree is leaning.

6. Mulching: Add a 2- to 4-inch mulch layer extending out 2 feet from the center of the tree or to the tree’s drip line. Make sure that the mulch is
not piled against the trunk like a mulch volcano, as this may cause decay and attract critters.

7. Tree protection: Protect the tree with a cage to ensure landscaping activities and wildlife do not damage the trunk.

8. Aftercare: Water your tree infrequently and deeply for best root development. Monitor the soil moisture with your finger or a soil probe until the tree is established. Continue to monitor the tree for diseases, pests, and heat stress.

Activities and Projects

  • Foster-A-Legacy Tree
  • Orchard beautification
  • Tree plantings
  • Festivals and educational events
  • Precinct 4 GeoChallenge and Trails As Parks Passport Series

Our Goals:

Planting and caring for urban trees to create healthier, more beautiful communities

Preserving the historic trees of Texas

Promoting the regional and global benefits of trees

HOW TREES
HELP

The Economy
Trees increase business value,
home value, and conserve energy.

Your Nutrition
Fruit & nuts from trees contain antioxidants and healthy fats.

Your Comfort
Trees reduce temperatures up to 20°F and also provide skin protection.

Your Healing
Patients after surgery have faster recovery times with a scenic tree view.

Social Environments
Trees beautify neighborhoods, improve mental health, and reduce crime rates.

The Environment
Trees preserve wildlife habitat, prevent soil erosion, and reduce the urban heat island effect and noise pollution.

Your Lungs
Trees help provide clean air.

Your Growth
Children who are raised around trees are healthier.

LEGACY TREES PROGRAM

The Legacy Trees Program is committed to promoting the benefits of trees, supporting the cultural heritage of Texas, and engaging the public through volunteer and planting opportunities.

Trees help improve public health, the environment, and the economy. A healthy and well-managed urban forest maintains the composition, structure, and integrity of the forest ecosystem. Protecting and promoting these resources leads to cleaner air and water, reduced stormwater runoff, lower energy costs, and improved health.

With your help, Precinct 4 can grow into a greener, healthier place to work and live. Volunteer to care for heirloom fruit and nut trees along the trails or foster a historic tree. Want to help preserve history? Share in the heritage and development of Texas by fostering your own legacy tree. Schools, nonprofits, and Harris County Precinct 4 residents are invited to apply.

What is a Legacy Tree?
A historic, champion, or native heirloom fruit tree

  • One acre of trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people every day.
  • During a heavy rain storm, a healthy forest can absorb as much as 20,000 gallons of water in an hour.
  • Forested areas absorb 10-15 times more water than grassy areas.
  • Healthy trees can increase residential property values up to 15 percent.
  • Communities with trees may spend less money on stormwater management infrastructure.
  • Customers are willing to pay up to 10 percent more for certain goods and services on a tree-lined street.
  • Trees act as natural water filters that can reduce stormwater runoff, soil erosion, and flooding.
  • Streets with little or no shade need to be repaved twice as often as those with tree cover.
  • For every dollar invested in planting, cities see an average of $2.25 return on investment each year.

1. When do I plant? Planting season begins in the fall and continues through the early spring. The best time to plant is immediately following leaf drop to give the tree plenty of time to establish a healthy root system before summer.

2. What species? Consider your area’s environment before selecting a tree species. Are you planting in wet lowlands or dry uplands? Do you need a tree that primarily provides shade or protection from the wind?

3. Where? Check for utilities and infrastructure that the tree may eventually obstruct. Always call Texas 811 before you dig to avoid planting over utilities.

4. Preparing your tree: Cut away any circling or matted roots, and quarter the bottom half of the root ball with a sharpshooter. Dig a broad hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball. Backfill the hole with native soil so that the top of the root ball will sit at ground level.

5. Planting: Lift the tree by the root ball and situate it so that the trunk is straight and the root ball sits at ground level. You can adjust the depth of your hole by backfilling it with native soil. Once the tree is in position, fill the hole with native soil. Staking isn’t necessary unless the tree is leaning.

6. Mulching: Add a 2- to 4-inch mulch layer extending out 2 feet from the center of the tree or to the tree’s drip line. Make sure that the mulch is
not piled against the trunk like a mulch volcano, as this may cause decay and attract critters.

7. Tree protection: Protect the tree with a cage to ensure landscaping activities and wildlife do not damage the trunk.

8. Aftercare: Water your tree infrequently and deeply for best root development. Monitor the soil moisture with your finger or a soil probe until the tree is established. Continue to monitor the tree for diseases, pests, and heat stress.

Activities and Projects

  • Foster-A-Legacy Tree
  • Orchard beautification
  • Tree plantings
  • Festivals and educational events
  • Precinct 4 GeoChallenge and Trails As Parks Passport Series

Our Goals:

Planting and caring for urban trees to create healthier, more beautiful communities

Preserving the historic trees of Texas

Promoting the regional and global benefits of trees

HOW TREES HELP

Your Comfort
Trees reduce temperatures up to 20°F and also provide skin protection.

Your Healing
Patients after surgery have faster recovery times with a scenic tree view.

Your Nutrition
Fruit & nuts from trees contain antioxidants and healthy fats.

Your Growth
Children who are raised around trees are healthier.

The Environment
Trees preserve wildlife habitat, prevent soil erosion, and reduce the urban heat island effect and noise pollution.

Social Environments
Trees beautify neighborhoods, improve mental health, and reduce crime rates.

Your Lungs
Trees help provide clean air.

The Economy
Trees increase business value, home value, and conserve energy.