Tree Bed Guard Grant approved!

Dear Dean Street residents,

This year, as part of our ongoing initiative to beautify and green our area, our block association competed for a grant from the Brooklyn Borough President’s “Neighborhood Beautification Fund.” We are pleased that our application for over 40 customized wrought iron tree bed guards was a success!

The tree beds that will receive the tree bed guards are located from 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt Avenue on Dean Street.   The installation will occur sometime this year.  The season for installations will start in May.  The installation will be executed by the NYC Parks Department.

All of the tree beds that will receive tree bed guards will be enlarged to 5 X 9 feet.  The tree bed guards and the enlargement of the beds both help improve the mortality of the street trees.  Plus they enable all of us to plant and beautify our street!

Our application included all street tree beds adjacent to properties in which the property owner gave us consent.  If an adjacent property owner did not give us consent, that tree was not included in the application.

Here are some other important facts you should know about this process:

  • Each approved tree bed must still pass a further inspection by the Parks Department.  If there is a cracked sidewalk or a utility near the bed preventing it from being enlarged, the bed will not get a guard.  Dead trees, curb cuts, narrow sidewalks, fire hydrants and bus stops also will prevent guards from being installed.
  • Everything currently in the tree bed including old tree guards, plants and soil will be removed in order to put in place new, enriched soil.  If you value the plants in your bed, remove them when you see markings on the sidewalk showing the site is being prepared.  Put the plants back when the new soil is put in place.
  • The installation process has three steps:

1)  Site Preparation:  Markings will appear on the sidewalk showing the perimeter of the enlarged bed and the location of utilities.

2)  Bite Work:  The tree bed will be cut and excavated. The guard will be installed.

3)  Maintenance:  Our community will work to maintain the tree beds and guards.

  • The installation process from cutting to tree guard placement will take no more than six months, with six to eight weeks most likely.
  • The tree guard is guaranteed for one year.


Once the tree bed guards are in place, please help us by improving and maintaining the street trees and the tree beds near where you live.  Here are some recommendations from the NYC Parks Department and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden:

1)  Water the trees.  In the summer the trees like 25 gallons of water a week.  When it gets really hot, they like to be watered twice a week.

2)  Don’t raise the soil level of the plant as this can rot the bark at the base of the tree. 

3)  Have fun and plant in the tree bed!  Here are some recommended plants the trees like because they don’t compete for water and nutrients with the tree.

For Sun:  (beneath newly planted trees and in direct sun)

Dusty Miller
Rock Rose

Snow in Summer
Ox-eye Daisy
Sun Drops
Wild Thyme

For Shade:  (beneath well established trees and in shade)


Elephant’s Ears
Coral Bells
Spotted Deadnettle


Chinodexia spp.
Snow Drops
Grape Hyacinth
Winter Aconite
Species Tulips

For further questions, please feel free to send an email to  Or call: 718-623-6194.

Monthly Meeting – April 18, 2011 – 7:30PM

Monthly Meeting
(Held every 3rd Monday of the month except holidays)

Monday, April 18th
7:30 – 9:00 pm

638 Dean Street, between Carlton and Vanderbilt

For Beautification Day this past Saturday members of our block association were out circulating information about upcoming changes to the tree beds on Dean Street.  The beautification efforts we normally undertake in the spring will take place instead in the fall after our new tree bed guards are installed.  This spring we still will be distributing free window boxes.  Please let us know if you are interested.


  • Metal Tree Guards:
    • Thanks to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s Neighborhood Beautification Fund, many of the trees on Dean Street between 6th Avenue and Vanderbilt will be receiving metal tree bed guards!  More details to come as we get them.
  • Atlantic Yards:
    • Quality of life issues:  Help us set our priorities. Snow removal and sidewalk care. Dust. Noise. Rodents. Traffic. Parking.  Security.
    • The implications of Judge Friedman’s ruling that the Empire State Development Corporation must analyze the environmental impacts of the project based on a 25-year timeline rather than the 10-year timeline it has used so far.  What is the status of the court case now?
    • Atlantic Yards Watch
  • Neighborhood Beautification Day and Block Party: Setting the dates