Friday, May 14, 2010

The EcoVillage Tree Nursery is Full Again!

Post and photos/images by the Hawthorne Hawkman, except where noted otherwise. Photos with me in them taken by Jill Kiener.

Yesterday morning was one of those days where I found myself thanking my lucky stars for having maybe the coolest job in the whole world. The city of Minneapolis had a surplus of trees that, without a home, would be given back to Bachman's. Instead, I met with Jill Kiener, who works with us through the city of Minneapolis and the Northside Home Fund. Several Tree Trust workers dropped off trees, and we set most of them in pots for the tree nursery.

In the first picture above, I'm emptying bags of mulch. I took a quick break to pose for a photo with Valeria though. I have to admit, there are instances where windswept hair looks a lot better than this. Oh well, at least I had someone as beautiful as Valeria in the picture too.

But let's talk about those trees. If you want one, here's how you can get it...

...the best way is to email me at my work address, The trees will be available first to Hawthorne residents on a first-come, first-served basis until June 15th. Any trees still in the nursery on that date are fair game for residents throughout NoMi.

In order to get one, you must be a property owner. If demand is high, preference will be given to owner-occupants over investors/landlords. And the city wants to track where these trees wind up and be able to contact the owners of the trees at least yearly to see how well they're doing. So I will need a name, address, email, and phone number for people who want trees.

Also, some trees are already allocated for parts of the EcoVillage, so you MUST contact me to set up a time to pick out your tree. Tree Trust was kind enough to provide us with a descriptive summary of each kind of tree.

Here's what we have:

Five Burgundy Belle Maple trees

Four Regal Prince Oaks

Nine Greenspire Lindens

Fourteen Redmond Lindens

Six Kentucky Coffeetrees. The Kentucky Coffeetrees as they stand now make Charlie Brown's Christmas tree look almost majestic. But the images below will show you what this will look like once it's grown and in bloom.

Above image from

Above image from

I predict that the next one is going to go very quickly: Three Canada red select cherry trees.

We have one Accolade Elm

We have two swamp white oak trees left. One of them brought to mind a Bob Dylan lyric from his song, "Hurricane." "Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head/Cops said 'Wait a minute boys, this one's not dead.'" If there's anyone out there who feels like giving a tree some tender loving care and saving it from becoming mulch or kindling, here's your chance.

By the way, these oak trees are from a year, maybe two years ago. We've since figured out that most people in NoMi want trees with a smaller radius of cover when they (the trees) mature. Oak trees can grow to cover much of someone's yard in shade, but the newer trees cover a much smaller area.

Finally, there are nine Fat Albert spruce trees. However, these ones are slated for the EcoVillage Demonstration Garden for the time being. If not all of them are used there, then they will be made available for others who want them.

And finally, after all that hard work of moving dozens of trees and laying out more mulch, Valeria came by with gifts of Polish sausage. This blog has a long-standing theory that we test from time to time: "There is no family-friendly way to pose for a picture with a Polish sausage." I thought that through some creative censorship, I'd found an exception to the rule. However, John overruled that, saying that there's no way to tell exactly what is in the bag. The theory to date remains undisputed.

If anyone wants one of the available trees shown above, contact me at


Patrick said...

Great post Jeff. It's good to see the progress in the EcoVillage. The rest of the city should be green with envy.

Patrick said...

I was so excited after reading this post that I went right over to the tree nursery and took home my new cherry tree!

Thanks Hawthorne Neighborhood and thanks Jeff, er, I mean Hawkman!

Kevin said...

If I had a yard big enough, I would jump at one of those Coffee Trees.
Very, very, very cool trees and not everyone on the planet has one.

Johnny Northside! said... did not.

la_vie_en_rose said...

I wish I could have that cherry tree. :( I love cherry blossoms. And I've never seen what a coffee tree looks like before. Interesting.

Open Up That Wallet said...

No wonder the city is broke and your taxes are going up. How much is it costing to have city employees tracking down these trees and paying them a visit to ensure they are cared for.

The real Patrick said...

Someone has apparently hijacked my account. I absolutely did not and would not take a tree from the EcoVillage nursery.

I see the trolls are hard at work again. I'll have to figure out how to get a google account.

Your Eyedea said...

I just planted one of the cherry trees on the side of my house. Then next week we are getting one of the coffee bean trees to put in the back yard. my mother is from KY and has always been a big fan of them. I do plan on taking great care of these trees as they provide me with the oxygen I need. I will also GLADLY pay higher taxes for more trees ANYWHERE.... that's just how I am.. :)

Patrick said...


I would never take a tree. I have worked hard to make a good name for myself on this blog and now someone is trying to ruin it.

And idea, I agree wholeheartedly. Frankly we don't pay enough taxes in NoMi. I'd gladly pay much more for trees and art. Instead of a sales tax going to those twins we need to spend much, much more on the arts.

Patrick said...

Could we get your address so we can send the tree inspectors to check on the welfare of the trees on a regular basis.

Big Red said...

I think that these trees should also be available to any Minnesota taxpayer. We fund Minneapolis by our LGA portion of our income taxes. Any surplus trees should be fair game for anyone paying taxes in Minnesota.

The real Patrick said...

My neighbor liked my free Eco-Village tree so much that today we went back and got another one. Both of the new trees look great lining our boulevard where elm trees used to be. There is enough room for probably two more so tomorrow we are going to back and get the last two needed to fill in where those old elms were. Soon we will have our street canopy back! Hooray for Hawthorne Hawkman and his Eco-Village nursery! Thanks Hawkman!

Anonymous said...

Patrick -

If you planted trees in the boulevard strip (between the curb and the sidewalk), you will likely run afoul with the Park Board. They, not you, own the boulevard area and are responsible for planting, pruning, and ultimately removing boulevard trees.

From what I've heard, each block has certain designated trees that are used consistently for all boulevard trees.

Sadly, there is often a lag between when a boulevard tree is removed and its replacement arrives. My neighbor has been waiting for 4 years for a new maple tree, I'm told.

I have read several stories where people planted trees on the boulevard without first consulting the Park Board (and obtaining a permit) and were forced to remove them when the Park Board determined what they'd done.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Wow, I've lost track of how many Patricks there are floating around here. Anyway, I just love that one has decided to follow me around like a stalker and shoot down everything I say. Cute.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:45 is correct regarding the boulevard trees. If a boulevard tree needs replacing, call the Forestry Division of the Park & Recreation Board (612-370-4900). Here is more information about tree requests:

When my Dutch Elm tree was removed, I got a new tree two years later, but I didn't request a maple, which might be the difference.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Furthermore, the blog post clearly laid out guidelines for the acceptable ways for trees to be distributed. Patrick, or the real Patrick, or the original Patrick, or the hacked account Patrick, if you took any trees before June 15, then I assume you all live in Hawthorne. And I expect to get your full name, address, phone number, and email as stated in the initial post. We need to track where these trees go and whether they survive.

Anonymous said...

In response to Big Red. I called my city council member to report that Hawthorne got free trees when I had to pay for mine. He was pretty disturbed to hear that they were given away. He said that he would look into this unacceptable situation and find out who was responsible for authorizing this, since his understanding was that they were not to be free.

Patrick said...

If there is a real Patrick out there I suggest you create a new name or start using a google account.

Any point you try to make will be lost in the confusion of your multiple personalities.

Anybody can post as "you" unless you start using a real identity.

Anonymous said...

To "Big Red"

The city offers trees for a low price to its citizens every year. I've seen them advertised in the local and neighborhood papers, you just call a # to reserve yours. These are probably left overs from that program. If some people complained less and paid attention more, than they too could have gotten a cheap tree.

Patrick said...

Why doesn't the city or JACC inspect properties in Hawthorne and just assign trees where they need to be planted. If NOMI is to be transformed we need to ensure that property owners are landscaping their yards properly. If there are surplus trees perhaps the person who is tracking the trees could also locate properties that should have one planted. The tree could be assigned to be planted by x date and if not done the city does it and places an assessment on the property tax like with a street repair.

Anonymous said...

esterday morning was one of those days where I found myself thanking my lucky stars for having maybe the coolest job in the whole world. The city of Minneapolis had a surplus of trees that...tree nursery