Welcome to TreeStewards.org

Registration for our 2017 training session is now closed. Follow us on Facebook or check back here for details on the next session.

This Deodor cedar (Cedrus deodara) located near the Arlington House dwarfs TreeSteward in it's shade.The Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria take a love of trees and put it into action by training volunteers and organizing events to improve our urban forests and make our community brighter. We educate our neighbors on tree care, provide direct assistance, and act as effective advocates for our local tree canopy. Want to join us? To become a Tree Steward you don’t need to be a scientist or arborist or forestry professional (though some of us are). All it takes is a love of trees and a desire to get involved.

  • We volunteer with local city and county arborists to plant, prune, water, mulch, and monitor street trees, trees on school grounds, and trees in the parks.
  • We educate the community at farmers markets and at special events such as Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Neighborhood Days.
  • We find resources and develop materials for specific educational campaigns, such as the very successful Take Ivy Off Trees project.
  • We advocate for trees through appointments to the Arlington and Falls Church Urban Forestry Commissions, on Alexandria’s Environment and Parks Committee, as well as our own civic and condo associations, HOAs, and church groups.
  • And so much more!

Interested in learning how to recognize emerald Ash borer? How to tell the difference between a Northern Red Oak, a Southern Red Oak, and a Scarlet Oak? Where to find trees that may be local, state, or even national champions? Do you enjoy spending time with fun-loving tree huggers? If so, then consider becoming a Tree Steward — as our T-shirts attest, “We Stand Up for Trees!”

Information on the next training session is available here. Also be sure to check out our calendar of events and Like us on Facebook.

-Kate Donohue, President, Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria

Posted in Uncategorized

Four Mile Run Valley Project Needs Tree Stewards’ Help


Arlington is in the process of designing the Jennie Dean Park at Shirlington/Four Mile Run — and our participation at one of these events is very important. There are groups interested in more ball fields, dog parks, playgrounds, concert spaces, etc. If Tree Stewards show up at just one of these events and share our expertise on why trees are important, why their roots need space, and vote for the importance of natural areas with trees, we can make a difference. More info here and below.

TS Nora Palmatier is on this committee. She says her fellow committee members love trees and want more — but many of them lack the knowledge of what trees need to thrive. The entire event is important, but if your time is limited (and we know it is!) just come down to the Open Planning Studio (runs 3 days) for a half hour to share your knowledge with the park consultants. It really will make a big difference.

Here’s a description of the event and details on the schedule:

Help us Develop a Vision for Four Mile Run Valley
Bring your ideas for the future of the Four Mile Run Valley to a multi-day community visioning workshop on Dec. 2 – 6. Through hands-on design exercises and engaging conversations, learn and share about land uses and urban design; parks, playgrounds, recreational programming and open spaces; the dog park; street design and transportation; stream restoration and environmental improvements; historic and cultural resources; and more! Learn more at arlingtonva.us, search 4MRV visioning workshop.

· Kick-Off Event, Fri., Dec. 2, 7 – 9 p.m. @WETA, 3939 Campbell Avenue, 6th floor

· Hands-on Design Workshop, Sat., Dec. 3, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. @Drew Model School, 3500 23rd Street S

· Open Planning Studio, Sun., Dec. 4 – Tuesday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. –6 p.m., 2700 Quincy Street, 3rd floor

· Closing Open House, Tues., Dec. 6, 7 – 9 p.m.,Drew Model School, 3500 23rd Street S

The overall goal of the Four Mile Run Valley (4MRV) initiative is to develop a comprehensive vision and policy framework and specific strategies for the area through the adoption of a Four Mile Run Area Plan, a Parks Master Plan, and a design for the Nauck Town Square. These plans will help guide public and private investment, including County operations for the long term, along with the preservation and enhancement of natural resource, open spaces, and future development, in a manner compatible with the surrounding area and consistent with the County’s overall policies. Learn more here.

Posted in Advocacy, Education, Events

Membership Meeting in the Crypt: This Sunday, Oct. 30


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Tree Stewards Partner With TD Bank For More Tree Planting

TD Planting Day

TD Bank employees and Tree Stewards planted 30 trees at Tarleton Park on October 15, 2013

Tree Steward volunteers will be joined by employees from TD Bank on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at Dora Kelly Nature Park in Alexandria to participate in TD Tree Days, a cooperative effort to plant new trees in local communities in need.

Volunteers will plant over 30 trees at Chambliss Crossing in Dora Kelly Nature Park. This location lost tree canopy during the restoration of the bridge over Holmes Run.

“This is a fantastic project for Tree Stewards! Not only do we get to help reforest an important part of the ecosystem along Holmes Parkway, but we also get to share our knowledge of trees with the committed TD Bank volunteers,” said Tree Steward President Kate Donohue.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Watering Young Trees = SUCCESS

West side with no tree shade

West side leading to playground with no morning shade in 2013.

October 2013 was just the first step in reforesting Tarleton Park in Alexandria.  TD Bank employees under the guidance of TreeSteward volunteers planted 30 trees – and provided enough funds for weekly summer watering for two years. You can read about the event in the following blog post. Thanks to the support of the neighborhood and TS Bonnie Petry who coordinated the watering,  these young trees are thriving. In July 2016, TreeStewards toured the park to record the growth of trees.  Check out the before and after photos!

Open field with no tree shade

Wide open field with no trees in 2013.

Field with 14 young trees present with TS Bonnie and assistant

TS Bonnie Petry with neighborhood assistant. July 2016 view — count how many trees with watering bags are now present.

River birch now 12 feet high from 5 ft in 2013

playground with young trees


Posted in Community Service, Tree Care | Tagged , ,

TD Bank Makes Long Term Investment in Trees

TD Bank employees and TreeStewards planted 30 trees at Tarleton Park on October 15, 2013

TD Bank employees and TreeStewards planted 30 trees at Tarleton Park on October 15, 2013

On October 15, 2013, twenty-five TD Bank employees with the guidance of TreeSteward volunteers planted 30 trees in Tarelton Park, Alexandria, Virginia. But this was only the “initial deposit” of their long term investment. TD Bank works with the Alliance for Community Trees to not only put trees in the ground, but to also partner and strengthen the capacity of local groups. They helped TreeStewards with a grant that allowed purchase of the young saplings and to purchase shovels, gloves, rakes, wheelbarrows, hoses, etc. for ongoing tree planting events. They further “insured their investment” by requiring and funding two years of watering for the young trees.

TD Bank volunteers used pickaxes on the rocky ground, hauled water long distances, and worked unceasingly.

TD Bank volunteers used pickaxes on the rocky ground, hauled water long distances, and worked unceasingly.

It was a perfect event due to the support of so many partners: TD Bank gave the funding and willing hands for planting, Alliance for Community Trees shared it’s expertise in planning for such events, Kramer Equipment arranged all the tools at a significant discount, Clear Ridge Native Nursery provided excellent trees, the neighborhood association president let us hook into his water line for the planting day and Alexandria Natural Resources Division got permission for planting in Tarleton Park.

Final quality check: mulch away from trunk, guard on to prevent weed wacker damage, ties loose to allow strengthening trunk. A well planted tree!

Final quality check: mulch away from trunk, guard on to prevent weed wacker damage, ties loose to allow strengthening trunk. A well planted tree!

The residents who use the park (humans, squirrels, raccoons, birds, and so on) will now have shade during the hot day and lots of food from the River birches, Sweet gums, Swamp white oaks, Pin oaks, American hornbeams, White oaks, Northern red oaks, and Butternut hickories that were planted.

Posted in Uncategorized