YLP Plants Trees is an annual Arbor Day collaboration between the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s Olmsted Tree Society (OTS) Program and Youth Leadership Program (YLP). With support and guidance from the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department, YLP Plants Trees creates an opportunity for students employed in the Youth Leadership Program to plant trees and learn about urban forestry in the Emerald Necklace on Arbor Day – the national tree-planting holiday occurring yearly on the last Friday in April.

The goals of the YLP Plants Trees Program are to:

  1. educate and empower the next generation of urban forest stewards
  2. plant trees that will one day contribute to the urban canopy and replace lost trees in the Necklace
  3. demonstrate the results that intensive care and maintenance for individual trees can have over long time periods

2021 YLP Plants Trees

The Planting Process

On Friday, April 30, 2021, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s Field Operations Coordinator, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Tree Warden, and three arborists from Bartlett Tree Experts arrived in Franklin Park with 10 trees in tow.

Due to a wind advisory, youth participants were unable to attend this planting in person, but they were able to receive a lesson and see their trees via Zoom at the end of the day. Each participant in the Youth Leadership Program received a certificate of completion for their hard work over the past few months, and a link to keep up with how their trees are doing on a regular basis.

The planting began at 2:00 pm with placing each tree in its designated (and Boston Landmarks Commission-approved) planting location. The Bartlett arborists hand-dug each hole, ensured each tree had no girdling roots, adjusted the height of planting to ensure trees were straight and not planted too deep and applied mulch (provided by the Tree Warden) in a donut shape around – but not touching – the trunk of each tree. Finally, fencing was installed to protect each tree from mowing, pet waste and trampling. The Field Operations Coordinator added an inventory tag to each tree and informational signage to each fence. We ran out of fencing for one tree, so we made do with orange flagging as a temporary protectant!

Species and Quantity Planted

Maintenance Activities

The Field Operations Coordinator and the Boston Tree Warden hand-watered these trees during the months of May and June using 5-gallon water jugs. Each tree received 10 gallons of water per visit and were visited an average of 1.5 times per week. Then, they were added to the Conservancy’s Summer Watering Contract, and Barrett Tree Service East applied 20 gallons of water per week from June to September. The Conservancy’s Field Operations Coordinator visited and photographed the trees each month at minimum and fixed fences. The trees were mulched by the Boston Tree Warden and Field Operations Coordinator on October 15 to ensure they are set up for the fall, winter, and early spring.


Directly to the southwest of the Walnut Avenue entrance to White Stadium. To visit these trees, head to approximately 492 Walnut Avenue and park either streetside, or in the parking area if the fence is open. Then, walk to the right of White Stadium towards the Overlook Ruins and look for a mostly-grassy area. They will pop out at you then!

For more information about tree planting in the Emerald Necklace, send your best photos of these trees to us or join the mailing list for stewardship updates on these trees, please contact Field Operations Coordinator Erica Holm at eholm@emeraldnecklace.org. For more information about the Youth Leadership Program, click here.