Free Dunbar/Spring Pruning Workshop and Mulching Services

Chipped mulch enhancing soil and retaining moisture

Come out and help prune Dunbar/Spring's street trees  and mulch our water-harvesting basins and soils!

Learn the ropes through this free pruning workshop and work party led by Brad Lancaster and Gary Wittwer of the City of Tucson. Keep trees healthy; learn about native, edible, and wildlife friendly plants, and water harvesting; provide mulch for healthy soils; all while beautifying the neighborhood, and making pedestrian walkways clear and walkable.

Note: So pedestrians of any age are not forced to walk in the street, all public rights-of-way (the public land between your property line and the street curb must maintain a minimum 4 foot-wide (5-feet wide is even better) continuous pedestrian path clear to a minimum height of 7 feet that cannot be blocked by overgrown vegetation, rocks, vehicles, or other obstructions. Those obstructing such pedestrian access can be cited and fined.

When: August 4th, 2012, Early bird start 6:30am, later start at 7:30am

Where: Meet at the Dunbar/Spring Community Garden. Late arrivals look for note on Garden bulletin board for where we'll be in the neighborhood.

What to bring: Hat/sunscreen, water, pruning tools (many provided)

Free chipping service

August 6 is the date by which you must have all your prunings on the street curb to get them chipped into mulch for free. Romero Tree Services will then chip up the prunings starting at 6:30am on the 6th, and put them back on your curb for you to use on your own site. 

August 13 is the date by which you must have moved your mulch off the curb and utilized it, or it will be removed by Brush and Bulky.

If you do not want the mulch resulting from your prunings, let us know via the contact form on this website and we will use the mulch elsewhere in the neighborhood where there is need.

Here is a list of what CANNOT be chipped.

Why mulch? 

Organic mulch such as chipped up prunings laid on top (not mixed into) the soil:

•increases the rate at which water infiltrates into the soil, preventing flooding, erosion, mud bogs, and long-lasting puddles in which mosquitoes would otherwise propagate.

•reduces soil-moisture lost to evaporation, lessening the need for irrigation.

•feeds the soil's beneficial micro-organisms that improve your soil's fertility, bioremediate pollutants, and increase your plant's ability to uptake water and nutrients by up to 700 times.

•brings our soil to life. Studies in our neighborhood have shown mulched water-harvesting basins transform relatively sterile urban soils into soils having the equivalent fertility of mature forest soils in just a couple of years.

•reduces weed growth and wind-blown dust

•reduces waste. 12 to 14% of the City's solid waste stream is yard trimmings. Mulching with this material turns a waste into a resource, while lessening diesel-consuming garbage truck trips to the dump.

• minimizes or eliminates the need for purchased chemical fertilizers

Planting and maintaining healthy street trees, while keeping pathways clear, encourages walking and more neighborhood interaction, improves our health, increases safety, cools us, beautifies, and even increases property values. See details on why trees are beneficial.

One of the goals of this program is to increase, rather than decrease, neighborhood resources and resilience by transforming the "green waste" side of dump-destined Brush and Bulky into a soil-building Chipped and Mulchy! Thus we are striving to turn this into a twice a year event that always precedes our neighborhood's Brush and Bulky pick up by about 2 weeks. Our next Brush and Bulky pick up is Aug. 13.

This is a great opportunity for you to get to know more of your neighbors, and enhance our community together as we build community together.

And if you want to improve the looks of the traffic circle, chicane, or street trees next to your property, this is a great opportunity to learn how to become the steward of those features. They are neighborhood features that require neighborhood care.

Prune your own trees and have it chipped for free

In conjunction with this program you can prune trees on your private property and get the trimming chipped into mulch for free. Just set out trimmings on the curb by Aug. 6th and they will be chipped and left in place. If you would like to donate your mulch to the neighborhood just let us know by using the contact form on this website - leave your address and any preferences for your mulch.

Other upcoming events:

Order your native shade trees by October 27 to get them delivered during our annual neighborhood tree planting November 10, 2012. Click here for the tree list you can choose from. Click here for street tree order forms.

17th Annual Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood Tree Planting: Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 7:30am. Come help your neighbors as we tree up the neighborhood together.

Desert Harvesters' Tenth Annual Mesquite Milling and Fiesta: Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 9:00 am at our Community Garden on 11th Ave and University Blvd

Additional resources:

Pruning video and info

Water harvesting info

WMG's Soil Stewards program for additional opportunities to learn how to build healthy soil with free, on-site resources


This program is supported by EPA, Watershed Management Group and its Soil Stewards program, and volunteers like you. See more details on why trees are beneficial.

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