TreeStewards are Good Neighbors

By TreeSteward Joslin Gallatin, Class of 2015

visit article Arlington’s Tree Canopy Fund is a project to increase the number of shade trees in neighborhoods with low canopy coverage. As a  TreeSteward volunteer, I  offered to meet with a potential recipient who is just 2 blocks from me. Although I had not met him before, I had noticed (while walking the dog)  that 2 trees were removed late last year. I’ve  been noticing that Silver Maples in the neighborhood have been looking in bad health.

The property owner immediately said he was looking at the Tilia americana , also known as American Linden or American Basswood, because he had seen it while on an overseas assignment and really appreciated it’s form and leaves. Luckily this is one of the trees that will “fit” his property and give him pleasure. It is about 60 feet tall at 20 years, single stemmed with a dense crown, yellow flowers in the Spring, yellow leaves in the Fall, and best of all – it’s NATIVE! Wildlife eat seeds, twigs, and buds and bees use the fragrant flowers to make delicious honey.

Tilia Americana or Linden or Basswood -- whatever name, it is a great tree

Tilia Americana or Linden or Basswood — whatever name, it is a great tree

The homeowner showed me the two spots where his two trees were removed and happened to mention that his front doorknob was hot to the touch with the afternoon sun. We decided that the tree would be planted on the left bare spot to shade the doorknob! I took a screwdriver to make sure the spot (the trunks were ground up when the trees were removed) was able to be dug for the Tilia and it was. We also talked about a few small, native, understory trees for the other side of his front yard – but that’s another project.

All of this took less than an hour and was a most pleasant experience. AND, I met another neighbor of his and explained about TreeStewards. He may avail himself of the same opportunity in the near future.

Posted in Community Service, Education | Tagged , , , ,

From Current President Nora Palmatier

Being President of TreeStewards has been a growing experience.

Being President of TreeStewards has been a growing experience.

TreeStewards Arlington & Alexandria Annual Meeting with elections for the Board of Directors and officers will be Tuesday, July 14 at Fairlington Community Center.  Socializing begins at 6:30 PM and a very important organizational meeting begins at 7:00.  We members need to elect a Board that will guide our activities through the next year – and members will be asked to take on tasks.

In June 2010, TreeStewards formally approved our Bylaws, with the offices of President, VP Membership, VP Communications, Treasurer and three At Large Directors.  I have served as President for the last 5 years, (informally as coordinator since 2008) and enjoyed myself hugely. Now it is time to hand over the coordination.

Collectively we accomplish much (in 2014, 3100 hours of service to 3500 people and 3760 trees)  and there are many good volunteers for the TreeSteward Board for the next year. Unfortunately, each prefers to assist the organizations in ways that are not as President.  It appears that TreeStewards of Arlington & Alexandria will be coordinated by the entire Board, with each individual taking on tasks. That’s why it’s so important that members come to the Annual Meeting as we really need to organize ourselves. Each of our 80+ members is asked to step forward and volunteer to do one task for the organization, whether as simple as writing one article for the web site or ongoing commitment to respond to email requests.

The candidates for Board are:

  •  Treasurer:  Jane Longan will continue. She will handle official registrations with state and federal entities and maintain finances.
  • Vice President Communications:  Eileen Grant will chair a committee to update the web site and event calendar, write news articles, check the email info@TreeStewards.org, and other tasks.  Can you volunteer to assist?
  • Vice President Membership: Nora Palmatier will chair a committee to ensure each member is volunteering all they desire and will work with new class graduates.
  • At Large Members
  • Alice & Bill Rogalski will share an Alexandria seat (2 for 1!!!) and take on tasks as needed
  • Kate Donohue, Arlington At Large seat, will be coordinating continuing education programs
  • Jolene Jesse, Alexandria At Large seat, will take on tasks as needed

We current board members have searched and not found a member to step forward as President.  I plan on remaining an active member of the board and TreeStewards, but I will no longer be the one sending announcements and encouraging participation.  I am confident others will come forward to take on the necessary tasks. Looking forward to seeing you July 14 at the Annual Meeting!

Posted in Events

Alexandria and Arlington Recognize Park Volunteers

TreeStewards are all about volunteering .

TreeStewards are all about volunteering .

TreeStewards are all about volunteering, and in 2014 we collectively gave over 3100 hours caring for trees and educating the public were reported.  Our efforts are making a difference and are appreciated by those responsible for the parks.

Bonnie Petry shown as usual  seen with a shovel or watering can in her hands.

Bonnie Petry shown as usual seen with a shovel or watering can in her hands.

The City of Alexandria recognized TreeSteward Bonnie Petry with the CIVIC Award last summer for her ongoing work caring for trees at Tarleton Park.  Bonnie has led numerous volunteer work days that have planted more than 115 trees throughout the park and more importantly, she oversees the watering contract that ensures their survival.

Arlington awarded it’s Bill Thomas Park Volunteer Award to TreeSteward Don Walsh and to Master Naturalist Mary McLean for their many hours of service. Since 2010, Don has worked on invasive plant removal throughout the county, assisted with training new TS members, and conducted numerous tree walks for the public. Mary McLean has led volunteer work days in Tuckahoe Park for five years and leads native plant walks as part of each work day.

Master Naturalist Mary McLean and TreeSteward Don Walsh. Usually seen with work gloves and clippers, but here they are at the Awards Ceremony.

Master Naturalist Mary McLean and TreeSteward Don Walsh. Usually seen with work gloves and clippers, but here they are at the Awards Ceremony.

These three are representative of all the volunteer effort we do.  Congratulations to all of us.

Posted in Community Service

Class of 2015 Graduates

TreeStewards Class of 2015 is ready for action.

TreeStewards Class of 2015 is ready for action.

The nineteen new members of TreeStewards are already signed up to staff tree information tables at farmers markets, plant trees in Alexandria and Falls Church, and work with their condos’ green committees.

Class sessions started on February 3 and met each Tuesday night through April 14. Perhaps the most challenging part of the class was the pruning practicum at Yorktown High School on a bitter cold Saturday in February — the biggest learning was to put hand warmers in the glove hand with the steel pruner…. And surely the most fun was examining trees outside Fairlington Community Center classroom as the sun slowly sank in the west and flashlights were required.

Congratulations to the new TreeStewards. We look forward to working with you.

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Treecycling: Books Into Trees

… and kids into environmentalists!

Environmentalist who have learned how to turn books into trees!

Environmentalist who have learned how to turn books into trees!

Imagine young entrepreneurs collecting gently used books from friends and neighbors, and selling them to new owners. The two youth raised money to purchase and plant trees so their playground can become a National Wildlife Fund certified habitat.

Treecycling is a wonderful cross-curricular practice.  It promotes the love of literacy, math skills (if you have your child count the change), and not least, the children build awareness about the  primary and natural source of things, ie. books come from trees.  This awareness leads to gratitude and conservation.

 

The end result is a lovely red maple tree planted in the playground.

The end result is a lovely red maple tree planted in the playground.

 

Ann Marie Douglass, an early Childhood Educator from the Tree Steward Class of 2014, thought up the project and encourages other parents to help their children become environmentalists also.

Posted in Community Service, Education | Tagged , ,

Ash Trees of Lyon Park Treated for Emerald Ash Borer

Our white ash provides playground  and picnic table shade. It's loss would impact the community.

Our white ash provides playground and picnic table shade. It’s loss would impact the community.

Lyon Park’s County Co-Champion white ash trees have been showing their age of late.  How much of the decline can be blamed on the onslaught of the dreaded Emerald Ash Boer (EAB) is hard to say.  The Lyon Park Community must care for its park’s trees (it is a community owned park rather than county owned) and we would rather not chance the loss of its huge ash trees to the EAB.  The best time to treat an ash for EAB is early springtime, mid-March to Mid-April so now is the best time.

We called our regular tree service company to ask for a treatment bid, but they  referred us to some of the larger companies with ongoing experience treating ash trees for EAB.  After checking out several, I met with our chosen arborist who recommended the use of imidacloprid, a soil treatment, rather than using an insecticide injected into the bark.  Both treatments have advantages and disadvantages, so this is where discussion with the chosen arborist is important.  Imidicloprid mimics nicotine, which is toxic to insects, and is taken up by the tree’s roots and translocated  throughout the tree’s xylem tissues where the EAB carve “S” shaped galleries.  Arborists recommend annual treatment and we hope these imidacloprid treatments save our huge ash trees.

The treatment cost will be $0.10 per inch diameter of the tree or $1,040 for Lyon Park’s 56” and 48” diameter white ashes — however not treating and allowing the trees to die would cost many times this for removal, plus possible damage to other structures.  The article below provides details on how to choose an arborist.  If you have questions about our choice, please leave a comment.

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