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.

About TreeStewards

TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, are trained volunteers who work to protect, preserve, and enhance urban tree canopy through public education and volunteer activities such as planting, pruning, and caring for trees.
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