We Give Thanks for Planting Trees!

Tree Steward Eileen Grant and a family of four who live nearby plant a tree in then Ben Brenman Park meadow. Tree Steward Eileen Grant learns that this family, planting a White oak (Quercus alba) in Ben Brenman Park’s meadow Saturday, lives just across the street and can watch their tree grow.

Tree Stewards are giving thanks for their many tree-planting opportunities this fall provided by their great municipal partners. We could not have planted 600 new trees in Arlington and Alexandria without our extraordinary trainees and volunteers, our newfound Marymount University environmental studies friends, the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, church groups, and most important, nearby neighbors.

More than 30 hardy volunteers turned out on a blustery morning Saturday, Nov. 17, to plant 53 trees in Alexandria’s Ben Brenman Park, and they finished with kudos for their expertise and just in time for pizza.

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Witchy Hats on Witch Hazel Are in the Woods Now

Now is a great time to find bewitching sights in the woods of Northern Virginia. Here’s evidence: Witch “hats” on native Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) leaves.

An aphid forms a sooty black gall shaped like a witch's hat on a native Witch hazel leaf.

An aphid forms a sooty black gall shaped like a witch’s hat on a native Witch hazel leaf. Photos by Jo Allen

The conical black “hats” are the chemical reaction of the Witch hazel leaf to an aphid, Hormaphis hamamelidis, that disturbs the leaf surface with its ovipositor, leaving behind a tiny egg. The leaf surface reacts to the injury by building a pointy, black gall of sooty mold with a wide brim over the spot, where the ovum overwinters before emerging in its new form by chewing through the bottom of the leaf. Clever insect, no? Smart leaf, right? Symbiosis! Continue reading

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Help Us Plant Hundreds More Trees

The shocking new information about the unexpected acceleration of global warming should frighten all of us into doing everything we can to try to slow or halt it. Alexandria’s Natural Resources branch, Arlington County’s Urban Forestry unit, and Tree Stewards have the answer: Plant more than 900 trees this month!

We need your help.

In Alexandria, Tree Stewards, their trainees, and other dedicated Alexandria volunteers will plant 48 trees supplied by the city’s Natural Resources section in Ben Brenman Park Continue reading

Posted in Alexandria Tree Canopy, Arlington Tree Canopy, Ben Brenman Park, Benjamin Banneker Park, Bluemont Park, Canopy Loss, Community Service, Events, Extreme Weather, Global Warming, Growing Tree Canopy, New Training Class, Volunteer

Tree Walk at Ivy Hill Cemetery

Big oak tree at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria amid gravestones.

This colossal Southern red oak near the entrance to Ivy Hill Cemetery was one of the remarkable specimens admired by Tree Stewards on their tree walk. But it needs to be shorn of the ivy climbing its branches to live a few hundred more years. We’ll be back to Take Ivy Off Trees.

Tree Steward trainees and their mentors were agog at the magnificent tree specimens at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria on Sunday, Oct. 28th when they gathered for a tree identification expedition led by instructor Emily Ferguson. They encountered innumerable oaks of  many stripes; maples; hickories (fuzzy-tipped and not); dogwoods with checkered bark; lenticeled cherries, both native and exotic; sassafras flashing all three leaf forms; a catalpa sprout; trees that sprawled, those that clung, big-leaved, to a shady slope, and every tree shape in between in this garden of arboreal splendor.

The cemetery, founded in 1856, pre-dates the Civil War and may have been spared cutting for sightlines by troops in that hostility. Its beautiful Timber Branch Creek is as it was formed centuries ago by enormous chunks of rock that scooted in under a glacier. Continue reading

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Fall Tree ID Book List

Fall Tree ID Books

Posted in Continuing Education, Education, Tree ID

300 New Trees Planted in Arlington

Volunteers who helped to plant 300 saplings in BonhAir Park where summer floods had toppled many mature trees along the banks of Four Mi8le Run. I-66 in background.

Volunteers planted 300 saplings Saturday, Oct. 13, in Bon Air Park where summer floods had toppled many mature trees along the banks of Four Mile Run. Photos by Jo Allen

 

Summer rains flooded many a basement in Arlington, but along Four Mile Run as it courses through Bon Air Park, precipitation caused a wipeout. The roots of many mature trees on the banks of the creek gave way after being inundated, and water overflowed the banks, leaving former picnic areas saturated and still soggy.

The muddy conditions did not deter several dozen volunteers, led by TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria and Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, from planting 300 saplings in what is now recognized as a bottomland. The young trees, ranging Continue reading

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Tree Stewards Win Alexandria Beautification Award

Alexandria City Council member Paul Smedberg, Northridge Civic Association President Jeanne Snapp, Mayor Allison Silberberg, Tree Stewards Jane Seward and Lynn Gas and Council member Del Pepper at the Alexandria Beautification Awards.

Alexandria City Council member Paul Smedberg, Northridge Civic Association President Jeanne Snapp, Mayor Allison Silberberg, Tree Stewards Jane Seward and Lynn Gas and Council member Del Pepper at the Alexandria Beautification Awards. Alexandria Beautification Commission photo.

Tree Stewards Jane Seward, Lynn Gas, Meghan Rainey and their neighbors in urban forestry deserve rousing accolades for greatly improving their Northridge-Beverly Hills districts by conceiving and leading a project to have 139 trees planted in yards in their neighborhood. The massive project was a hit with homeowners and a “tremendous”success that earned them a 2018 Green Practices in Beautification Award from the City of Alexandria in ceremonies on Oct. 16.

The three homeowners enrolled in training by Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria to understand and forge a course of action to address tree canopy decline in the rolling hills of their neighborhoods.

Going door-to-door with sleek brochures showing a plan to add mainly Oaks and Black gum trees to the landscape, these Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria turned dismaying talk about tree loss into action with a positive outcome. They are true champions of trees on a scale rarely seen in already-beautiful neighborhoods.

Through bulk buying and planting agreements, they negotiated favorable terms for the new tree installations. Working through their civic associations, they advised owners of new trees about tree-watering requirements (25 gallons a week for their large-caliper trees unless it rains 1.5” inches in the previous or near-forecast week.) Note to tree owners: Buy a rain gauge.

Jane, Lynn, Meghan and their neighbors are exemplars of action trumping griping. Their drive to change the scene for the better should be a model for every Tree Steward, and every one of us in Northern Virginia. Here is a brilliant, award-winning way to improve the environment that is economical and brings communities together.

“Jane and I are so hoping other neighborhoods will take it on. We can be so helpful and save others so much time as we can help them avoid some of the mistakes we made,” Lynn said after the awards ceremony in the Lyceum.

We turned out for their amazing tree delivery, also celebrated by Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg. Tree Stewards again salute our tree heroines for all they do to promote, plant, and protect the trees that we and our neighbors cherish.

Well done, Tree Stewards and residents of Northridge and Beverly Hills! We are incomparably proud of your work and our mutual association!

Here’s  a glimpse of tree-delivery day.

Large container-grown trees arrived by flatbed in Alexandria's Northridge neighborhood on Sept. 22, 2017 for planting in residential lots.

Large container-grown trees arrived by flatbed in Alexandria’s Northridge neighborhood on Sept. 22, 2017 for planting in residential lots. Photos by Jo Allen

Tree Stewards involved in helping guide Jane Seward and Lynn Gas, center, in adding new trees to the yards of their Northridge and Beverly Hills neighbors turned out with residents and others to watch as 139 trees were unloaded.

Tree Stewards involved in helping guide Jane Seward and Lynn Gas, center, in adding new trees to the yards of their neighbors turned out with others to watch as the 139 trees were unloaded.

Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg listens as Tree Steward Lynn Gas, center, with Tree Steward Jane Seward thank their civic association leaders and many others for supporting their effort to add canopy trees to their Northridge neighb orhood and neighboring Beverly Hills.

Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg listens as Tree Steward Lynn Gas, center, with Tree Steward Jane Seward, thanks their civic association leaders and many others for supporting their effort to add canopy trees to their Northridge neighborhood and adjacent Beverly Hills.

 

 

 

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Tree Species for Our Area

Washington Monument with Reflecting Pool and row of American elm trees on the National Mall.

American elms are the dominant tree species on the National Mall. (All photos from Casey Trees)

Leaves and acorns of the Chestnut oak (Quercus montana).

Leaves and acorns of the Chestnut oak (Quercus montana).

Confused about what tree to plant? Here’s help.

These lists have been compiled by ISA certified arborists who work directly with our urban forest every day. They know trees. But more important, they know trees that will be happy in your front yard, under overhead utility wires, next to your sidewalk, and in the darkest corner of your backyard. Take a look, then head to a nursery for the right tree for your place, and start planting.

Fall is the best time to plant most trees: The soil is still warm and welcoming to roots; the air is generally cooler and the sun lower, which help prevent drying Continue reading

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Gently Hug Your Older Trees

This campaign was produced by TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria with a grant from ecoAction Arlington. It is in the public domain and may be used by all tree lovers worldwide. We do not have translated material. Click here to view a slide presentation for the Mature Trees Are Valuable Trees campaign. Please complete all required portions of our contact form if you are requesting a script.

 

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Mature Trees Presentation

Mature Tree Slide Deck in PDF

This short slide presentation and  all elements of the Mature Trees Are Valuable Trees are in the public domain for tree lovers to share with their friends, neighbors, community and church groups, schools, public officials, and clubs. You do not need to ask permission, but we would appreciate learning where and when our material is being used. Please fill out the contact form to let us know. And if you would like a copy of the script to modify and use with the slides, please check that box on the contact form.

Thank you for sharing this information!

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