A Forestry Mower at Fort Dupont Park

Before Casey Trees plants any trees in the ground, our Tree Planting department conducts extensive research and site visits—all in the name of forest restoration.

At Fort Dupont Park in Southeast D.C. – a planting project, we’re experimenting with new preparation methods for the sites where we plant, a project that is being funded through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant.

Our crew started their visit conducting on a targeted survey of one particularly noxious exotic tree: Ailanthus altissima or Tree of heaven.


Our Tree Planting crew conducting an invasive species survey

They identified over 25 trees that will be surgically treated with herbicide later in the spring. Once treated, these trees will remain in place as “snags”or standing dead trees, and while remaining an important habitat and shelter for wildlife like birds and squirrels, they will no longer pose a threat to future seed dispersal to the restored site. In addition to identifying invasive our crew also pinpointed three native trees—two Tulip trees and an American elm—to be set aside.

These trees were set aside because of our underbrush removal.

Typically done by hand, underbrush and invasive vine species such as multi-flora rose and vine honeysuckle were removed to make way for new trees. However, the sheer size of the site at Fort Dupont Park (over 3 acres) required more than just manpower so a forestry mower was called in (supplied by Sustainable Solutions, LLC.).

Now some of you might be asking: what is a forestry mower?

Behold.

 

Essentially a combination tractor / bulldozer / lawn mower, the forestry mower takes unwanted trees and underbrush and transforms it all into mulch. This process knocks back the undesired vegetation in a way that also reduces erosion, water pollution and allows nutrients to reenter to soil. It’s great for the site and it’s also really cool to watch.


The site before the Forestry Mower


The site after the mower came through


The forestry mower avoiding our protected tulip

Our crew will be back on site in the spring to begin planting. Stay tuned to TreeTalk or our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn pages for more updates on Fort Dupont Park.

Treelines: Week of January 28, 2015

 


 

Because urban forestry issues span a wide range of topics and are constantly a source of local, national, and international news, we think it’s important to provide you with the most up-to-date information on everything tree-related: from local and national headlines to the latest in research and technologies, to simply feel-good stories.

Look for our reoccurring Treelines every week right here on Tree Speak + updates on our social channels, Facebook and Twitter.

This week in the Treelines…

 

Wall development has nearly finished building 16 condos at 1115 H St. NE, a five-story mixed-use community on the site of a former Woolworth store in the trendy H Street corridor. Designed by Square 134 architects to achieve LEED certification, the building includes environmentally friendly features such as a green roof with a rooftop deck, triple-glazed energy efficient windows, covered bike storage, and wiring for electric car charging stations.”

 

“Biden was touring the Southeast Washington work site of a $2.6 billion, two-decade project of the city’s water and sewer utility to stem sewage runoff into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers…To environmental activists, the project is the fruit of years of litigation to force D.C. Water and the city government to stem the pollution caused by its 150-year-old combined sewer system, which can overflow into waterways during periods of rain. To Biden and others, the project is an example of the infrastructure investment necessary to keep the American economy competitive.

 

The Wharf, as it is being called, is the developer PN Hoffman’s ‘magnificent opportunity to undo the urban renewal legacy of the past and recreate the Southwest Waterfront as a great world-class destination,’ according to the project’s website….‘We cleared 23,000 households, and the rest is history,’ Ellen M. McCarthy, the District of Columbia’s acting planning director, said of the urban renewal project. ‘This is where we rectify our mistakes.’”

 

“…residents of small and rural places are every bit as deserving of a clean and healthy environment as are city dwellers. Indeed, these places retain great significance for Americans: polling shows that more Americans would prefer to live in a small town or rural area (30 percent) than live there now (22 percent), and that more would prefer to live in a small town or rural area than would prefer to live in cities (28 percent). The good news is that there are some terrific examples of green initiatives beginning to emerge in small-town America. While these communities may frequently lack institutional capacity and fiscal resources to undertake big initiatives, they do have the benefit of agility.”

 

The practice of incorporating nature and natural elements into the built environment – known as biophilic design – has been proven to measurably reduce stress, enhance cognitive function and creativity, improve our well-being, and expedite healing. And that makes dollars as well as sense. U.S. businesses squander billions each year on productivity due to stress-related illnesses. A significant reduction in worker stress could translate to increased profits and happier, healthier employees. Not only that, but restorative environments have repeatedly been shown to increase learning rates in our schools and healing rates in our hospitals.

 

“[The Nature Conservancy] is anticipating a day soon…when a changing climate may make the forest unsuitable for some tree species and varieties that now live there… [TNC is] joining an international conversation about lending a helping hand to trees and other plants that are rooted in place in order to populate new, more suitable areas as climate shifts. Strategies include ‘assisted gene flow,’ which refers to moving varieties within a species’ range, and ‘assisted migration’ (also called managed relocation’ or ‘assisted colonization’ to avoid confusion with seasonal migrations), which means moving a species or population to help it expand outside its native range.

 

Don’t forget to check back next week for more Treelines! Any thoughts on these articles? Post your comments or questions below or via our social media channels - Facebook.. Twitter.. thanks!

Best of D.C. 2015 Voting Now Open – Vote Casey Trees as Best Non-Profit


It’s that time of year again — time to cast your vote for Best Nonprofit in the Washington City Paper’s 2015 Readers’ Poll. Make Casey Trees a consecutive two-time winner by casting your vote for us today — and then tell a friend to do so!

Why do we think we should get your vote? Just this past year, Casey Trees:

  • Planted more than 2,000 trees across all eight wards of the District, bringing our total number of trees planted since 2002 to 18,971.
  • Mobilized more than 1,300 volunteers to transform neighborhood treasures like The Park at LeDroit. Volunteers logged more than 4,000 hours planting, caring and advocating for trees.
  • Wrote and published the award-winning Citizen Advocate Handbook to empower D.C. residents to advocate for trees right in their neighborhoods.
  • Led almost 50 classes, workshops and tree tours to get people excited about trees and train-up individuals wanting to learn and do more.
  • Hosted the inaugural Canopy Awards to celebrate the contributions of individuals working to re-tree D.C.

These are just a few reasons why we hope you will vote for us. What did you like most about what we did in 2014?

Please vote Casey Trees Best Nonprofit today. A win for Casey Trees means more people will discover Casey Trees and greater attention will be given to the District’s trees.

Voting is open to all — you don’t have to live in D.C. — now through March 1 at 11:59. Please don’t delay, vote now.

Rock Creek Park is turning 125! Celebrate with a hike!

One of D.C.’s oldest parks, Rock Creek Park, is celebrating its 125th anniversary.

To commemorate, author of A Year in Rock Creek Park, Melanie Choukas-Bradley will be leading a series of four 125th anniversary hikes throughout Rock Creek Park, sponsored by Casey Trees.

(more…)

Treelines: Week of January 21, 2015


 

Because urban forestry issues span a wide range of topics and are constantly a source of local, national, and international news, we think it’s important to provide you with the most up-to-date information on everything tree-related: from local and national headlines to the latest in research and technologies, to simply feel-good stories.

Look for our reoccurring Treelines every week right here on Tree Speak + updates on our social channels, Facebook and Twitter.

This week in the Treelines…

 

“In mid-2014, the National Capital Planning Commission launched the Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative, a multi-year effort to revitalize the 1.2 miles of Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the U.S. Capitol. But with Donald Trump’s ongoing transformation of the Old Post Office into a luxury hotel, and the GSA exploring the relocation of the FBI to the suburbs, now is the time to re-establish an entity that can coordinate between local and federal agencies ‘so this grand boulevard can transform smoothly,’ [D.C. Councilman Jack] Evans said.

 

The researchers found that in addition to improved physical and social activity, Mueller [the 'walkable community' in focus] residents perceived more neighborhood cohesion than they did in their previous neighborhood…Residents reported a 40 percent average increase in walking or biking activities after moving to the community. Additionally, 65 percent of the study respondents noted an increase in physical activity and 48 percent said their health improved.

 

Lab experiments at Grenoble University in France have isolated ultrasonic pops, which are 100 times faster than what a human can hear, in slivers of dead pine wood bathed in a hydrogel to simulate the conditions of a living tree. Researches exposed the gel to an artificially dry environment and listened for the noises that occurred as air bubbles built up, similar to what occurs to trees during droughts.

 

“With the Super Bowl coming to Arizona, the game is bringing a lot of economic activity and excitement to the state, but it’s bringing something you would not have expected – treesWell, this is the 10th anniversary of urban forestry at the Super Bowl,’ said Jack Groh, the Program Director of the NFL’s Environmental Program. ‘The environmental program at the Super Bowl has been going on 22 years now.’ Groh said that the program had difficulty with its original intention, but rooted itself as a Super Bowl tradition…The city is aware of the carbon footprint big events have. Phoenix City Council member Bill Gates said Phoenix is pushing to expand its urban forest.

 

“In 2011, following recommendations made during an evaluation of the comprehensive plan, the city further opened its gates to small-scale agriculture, revamping both the zoning codes and city regulations…the city’s embrace of urban farming isn’t a measure to keep development at bay, and neither does it reflect ‘planned shrinkage’ (as in some parts of Detroit, for instance). Wheat Ridge is booming: new home construction is brisk and commercial and retail vacancy rates are exceptionally low. Agriculture is part of what’s making Wheat Ridge attractive to newcomers.

 

“The idea for parklets began to germinate in 2005, when members of a San Francisco arts collective called Rebar wanted to apply their artistic flair to small fragments of real estate. They were also interested in challenging ‘the boundaries of the short-term lease offered by a metered parking space,’ says John Bela, one of Rebar’s co-founders. And they questioned what they saw as an automobile-centered approach to urban planning and design…The experiment expanded into a daylong, international event, Park(ing) Day, in which people in cities worldwide created their own microparks in parking spaces. Then, in 2010, Rebar was commissioned to create a semipermanent version of one of the parks, and the parklet was born.”

 

Don’t forget to check back next week for more Treelines! Any thoughts on these articles? Post your comments or questions below or via our social media channels - Facebook.. Twitter.. thanks!

Pruning Workshop Recap

 

Winter is here! Which means it’s the ideal time to prune your trees.

Most pruning takes place in the winter because trees are dormant in the colder months.

Pruning provides many benefits to the longevity of a tree. By pruning young trees, it forces those trees to grow in a way that promotes a strong structure. It also allows trees to seal and compartmentalize wounds or other damage — limiting decay that could be a draw for fungi, pests, and other maladies.

We typically hold two to three pruning workshops per year to train up people on how to properly prune trees on their property. Our most recent pruning workshop was held on January 10.For those who may have missed the class here are some videos that explain the basics:

Arielle Conti Discusses Her Sign, iTree, and Her Love of Mangrove Forests

 

One of our stellar interns, Arielle Conti, recently received a promotion to Urban Forestry Research Associate. A joint hire between Casey Trees and Davey Trees. Arielle tells us about her new position and the exciting research she will be undertaking.

Casey Trees (CT): Describe yourself

Arielle Conti: I’m a Sagittarius.

How did you end up at Casey Trees?

I learned about Casey Trees through my graduate work at American University. It was this really cool course where we went to different D.C. based organizations working on a whole range of environmental issues in order to understand the landscape of the current environmental movement.  Emily and Maisie spoke with us about the Advocacy program, soon after I found a posting for a summer internship working in the TS&R Department.  Love blossomed and the rest is history.

What’s your favorite part of working for CT?

The snazzy LEED certified open concept office?

Seriously though, besides the fact that I feel good getting behind CT’s mission and contributing to my community in positive ways, it’s the people I work with.  They’re fun to be around, generally jovial and they are smart, motivated, passionate coworkers. 

How thrilled are you to be transitioning into this new role?

Words could not describe.  The opportunity to pursue the great work we’ve been doing and expanding that work through this new partnership with The Davey Institute is truly an awesome opportunity.  I’m genuinely excited about the projects I’ll be working on as a joint hire and because I’ve been here for a few months I am able to literally hit the ground running. 

What kinds of projects will you be working on/what do we have to look forward to?

We’re partnering with The Davey Institute to integrate and disseminate iTree more widely in an effort to better understand our urban forest.  iTree is a software program that can be used to evaluate D.C.s tree canopy so we can better manage it.   I’ll be doing a bunch of work integrating iTree into Casey Trees’ citizen science program in order to train volunteers, students and interested community members.

If you could choose to live in any forest (urban or non-urban) in the world, where would it be and why?

Any mangrove forest—preferably on a tropical island.  I’ve always been slightly amphibious, I was a swimmer my whole life and feel very at home in the water.  I mean, mangroves protect coastline, prevent erosion and the trees are so unique looking! There’s something to be said for being able to see a trees roots while it’s still growing.

 

Treelines: Week of January 14, 2015


 

Because urban forestry issues span a wide range of topics and are constantly a source of local, national, and international news, we think it’s important to provide you with the most up-to-date information on everything tree-related: from local and national headlines to the latest in research and technologies, to simply feel-good stories.

Look for our reoccurring Treelines every week right here on Tree Speak + updates on our social channels, Facebook and Twitter.

This week in the Treelines…

 

“‘The length of National Highways in the country is one lakh kilometer [about 62,137 miles]. I have asked officials to come out with a plan to plant 200 crore [2 billion] trees along these stretches which in turn would create jobs for the unemployed on the one hand and protect the environment on the other’…”

 

“The 36-foot-tall steel structures feature 72 artificial leaves that operate as mini vertical turbines all around the ‘tree.’ When the wind blows, the leaf turbines rotate and quietly produce energy. The cables and generators are integrated into the leaves and branches so that they turbine operates almost silently…[the] design so far has a power output of 3.1 kW, which isn’t a huge capacity for energy generating, but a street lined with these wind trees could power city street lights or help to offset the power consumption of nearby buildings.

 

Finding high-end ways to reuse the city’s trees would be a shift away from sending them to the wood chipper. ‘Oftentimes urban wood was looked at as a byproduct or waste,’ Eau Claire city forester Todd Chwala said. But with the city often cutting down maple or ash trees, he said that wood has traits that make it sought-after for use in flooring and furniture.”

 

“…The milkweed fiber becomes a new tool in cleaning up oil spills because it can absorb the oil, while repelling the water it is spilled in. In fact, the fibers can absorb more than four times the amount of oil that the polypropylene materials currently used in oil clean up can…Encore3 has partnered with Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture Canada to set up a cooperative of 20 farmers in the province to grow milkweed on 800 acres of land…And all of those acres of milkweed will have another great purpose: supporting the endangered monarch butterflies that take up residence in Southern Canada during the summer before starting their migration south to Mexico for the colder months. 

 

Although experts do not predict the loss of red oaks in Michigan will be on the same scale as ash trees lost to the emerald ash borer, the impact will still be significant in terms of losing forested areas that provide recreation, critical wildlife habitat, and valuable timber…Many state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds and other areas of state-managed land have been impacted by oak wilt, with the disease now widespread across much of the Lower Peninsula and parts of the Southern Upper Peninsula. Unfortunately, once oak wilt is present it is nearly impossible to entirely eradicate, but opportunities have been identified to help slow the spread of disease.

 

Don’t forget to check back next week for more Treelines! Any thoughts on these articles? Post your comments or questions below or via our social media channels - Facebook.. Twitter.. thanks!