10 Things We Are Thankful For This Holiday Season

It’s the week of Thanksgiving and people all around the country are taking stock of what they are thankful for this holiday season. We at Casey Trees are no different. We have looked back at this past year with fond memories of our plantings, classes and the communities that we have transformed, tree-by-tree and chose 10 things we are the most thankful for.

Here’s our list (in no particular order):


  

Our Citizen Foresters and Volunteers — Thank you for your countless hours of volunteer work and dedication. Without you our planting wouldn’t be nearly as vibrant and fun.


 

Our Donors — Thank you for your continued support of our mission to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of D.C.


Our Staff and Board — Thank you to all of our departments (including interns!) and board members for their tireless effort to spread the mission and message of Casey Trees to everyone in the District and beyond.


   

Sponsors and Partners — Thank you for your collaboration and support of us this past year with our many campaigns and events.


 

Mayor Gray and the Sustainable DC Plan — Thank you for laying a framework for the District to become a thriving sustainable tree-canopied city in the future.


  

Citizen Scientists — Thank you for your dedication to phenology, and your diligence in tracking each and every seasonal change this past year.


Our District Government Partners — Thank you to the District Department of the Environment and the Urban Forestry Administration for your support, collaboration, and guidance this past year.


    

Brookland — Thank you for being our home these past few years and allowing us to make the neighborhood a little bit greener, one tree at a time


  

Advocates — Thank you for opening your hearts and lending your voices to us and our cause, without you our message wouldn’t reach the root of the communities we seek to transform.


   

The Trees — Thank you for your serene beauty and endless inspiration.

Tree of the Month: Persimmon

D.C. residents are enjoying the last few weeks of temperate weather before the cold fully moves in. The prognosis: a mild yet snow-filled winter. How do we know this? It sure wasn’t the groundhog! Instead, the seeds of the persimmon tree gave it away.

Local lore says that persimmon seeds predict the coming winter season – if the seeds are shaped like spoons, there will be a lot of snow, while seeds shaped like knives signal extremely cold weather and fork-shaped seeds point toward a mild season. This year it’s all spoons and the District is on guard.

Aside from their prophetic seeds, persimmon trees are also known for their fruit, though some can be ornamental. The fruit is typically some variation of red-brown or orange and looks like a tomato as it ripens. The trees tend to grow quickly and fare well in indeterminate climates as they have a high resistance to disease and pests.

If you see one hanging, don’t hesitate to take a bite – they’re great sources of fiber, B-complex vitamins, and manganese, and have been heralded in studies of foods that kill cancer cells. The two most common varieties, Hachiya and Fuyu (Fuyugaki), are used in variety of recipes due to their sweet taste.

Persimmon trees can even intercept up to 399 gallons of storm water per year and are ideal for reforestation efforts.

The tree itself is a single-stemmed deciduous tree that can grow up to 25 feet tall and wide with stiff leaves that emit variations of red, yellow and orange in autumn. The tree is usually either male or female but can grow flowers of both sexes on one tree.

Here’s a map of where you can find persimmons throughout the District.

DC PLUG Webinar Recap

On November 12, Casey Trees hosted the DC PLUG: Burying Lines, Raising Questions webinar in partnership with John P. Thomas, Associate Director of Urban Forestry Administration and Nathan McElroy and Scott Placide from Pepco to address the impact of DC PLUG on street trees.

The webinar provided an overview of DC PLUG, the District’s ambitious plan to bury the worst performing power lines across the city, and outlined recommendations to safeguard the city’s tree canopy along the proposed burial routes.

The Public Service Commission has approved the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Pepco’s plan for the first three years of this project, meaning construction could begin as early as spring 2015.  This order also requires DDOT and Pepco to submit “detailed plans” for each construction site to be reviewed by the Commission and create an Education Task Force to keep District residents and businesses in the loop about construction activities in their neighborhoods.

If you live along the proposed route and care about the health and safety of the trees on or near your property then join us and become a Tree Advocate.

Additional questions and answers asked during the webinar will be posted soon. The presentation deck from the webinar is also available below for your convenience.

If there is any additional information or questions you may have about DC PLUG feel free to email us at advocacy@caseytrees.org.

 

Elizabeth Wiener’s article for the Northwest Current describes the webinar and Casey Trees recommendations for the plan.

Treelines: Week of November 13, 2014

 


 

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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a guide to help local governments, water utilities, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups, and other stakeholders integrate green infrastructure strategies to better manage stormwater. This approach also has the benefit of helping communities to achieve other environmental, public health, social, and economic benefits.”

 

The new research shows that since 1979, the dry season in southern parts of the Amazon rainforest has grown by about seven days per decade. The authors can’t definitively link the changes to any one factor, but say the trend they observed resembles the effect of climate change.

 

Lower Barracks Row will finally get its beer garden. It’s been a four year journey, but a permit for the construction of a traditional beer garden, with an accessory space for food trucks…will seat 210 and serve 299.”

 

‘The child is the father of the man,’ said Wordsworth… our bodies are not elaborate machines. We might be able to fit impressive prosthetics, transplant organs, and develop smart drugs. But we can’t do without our ecosystems, and we can’t replace them.

 

‘The discovery of a new frog species from the urban Northeast is truly remarkable and completes a journey that began six years ago with a simple frog call in the wilds of New York City’… The scientists traced the call to the leopard frog. DNA testing revealed that it was a previously undocumented species.

 

CO2 capture and storage is not as simple as locking away carbon deep underground. As Jones notes, the process will perpetuate fossil fuel use and may prove a wash as far as keeping global warming pollution out of the atmosphere.”

 

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!

Decision 2014: Sweetgum

Use our custom created map below to find a sweetgum nearby or make it an adventure and find one in a neighborhood that’s new to you.


View Map Full Screen

You can also learn more about this dark horse candidate and other great trees in our online tree species library.

Treelines: Week of November 6, 2014


 

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…

 

“‘Although there are now 125 species of coffee, we only actually use two species to produce the beverage coffee,’ according to Aaron Davis, head of coffee research at Kew Gardens – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and global plant research institution in the United Kingdom. This low genetic diversity combined with a shifting climate translates into increased risks of infestation from pests and diseases.”

 

“According to weather folklore, the pattern inside persimmon seeds can give  you a good idea of what the upcoming winter will be like. The folklore says that a spoon pattern inside the seeds indicates there will be lots of snow to shovel, a fork pattern inside the seeds indicates the winter will be mild with good eating, and a knife pattern inside the seeds indicates the winter will be cold with cutting winds.

 

The eTree will operate automatically, with minimal maintenance and provide energy around the clock. It will be offered in two models – a basic model, the Citrus, 3.5 meters wide, which will offer cold drinking water in schoolyards and parks; and an advanced model, the Acacia, 4.5 meters wide, which will serve for all intents and purposes as a small solar power station, with seating areas, night lighting, communication ports, and more.”

 

We are not saying that suburban life is bad and everyone should move to the city; it’s that we need to work a little bit harder to reduce the environmental effects. Reducing this environmental footprint would entail the establishment of efficient and fast public transportation that connects suburban communities to cities, and also within the suburbs themselves.

 

Once common across a swath of eastern North America, the rusty-patched bumblebee vanished from 87 percent of its range in recent decades, and its five-year absence led many scientists to conclude we’d seen the last of this species in the Eastern U.S. The cause of its disappearance isn’t known, but it might be related to the invasion of Nosema bombi, a parasitic European fungus that’s already blamed for the sudden decline of several other U.S. bumblebee species, including the American bumblebee.

 

A stream side forest of native trees provides many important ecosystem services. Some are obvious, like stabilizing the stream banks, filtering out nutrients, providing shade and sequestering carbon. But trees do much more. Native deciduous trees provide headwater streams with a lot of the food that aquatic microbes and insects such as mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies need for a thriving ecosystem.”

 

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!

Treelines: Week of October 29, 2014


 

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…

 

“Shredding leaves with a mulching mower will save homeowners time and money…The decomposing leaves and grass cover the soil between the individual grass plants where weeds can germinate. MSU studies found that homeowners can attain a nearly 100 percent decrease in dandelions and crabgrass after mulching fall leaves for just three years.”

“…global temperatures may have already passed a level that human civilization has never experienced. The sheer size and depth of the world’s oceans means that most of global warming’s extra heat has been stored there. For the last decade or so, atmospheric warming has been playing catch up.”

“By mid-December, Casey Trees – a non-profit agency that protects and enhances the city’s tree canopy – will have planted 560 trees throughout the city this fall. And by the end of the year, Casey Trees says they will have planted more than 1,279 trees in D.C. in 2014. It’s all part of the non-profit’s Community Tree Planting program, which aims to boost D.C.’s tree canopy from 35 to 40 percent by 2032.”

“Brentwood is going to see a lot of changes within the coming year from a major demolition project to a huge new development project. Mid-City Financial Corporation filed its first application with the city to demolish both Brookland Manor and the shopping center with the goal to rebuild them as apartments, townhouses, and retail.”

“People have to realize that plants are complex organisms that live rich, sensual lives. You know many of us relate to plants as inanimate objects, not much different from stones…But if we realized that all of plant biology arises from the evolutionary constriction of the ‘rootedness’ that keep plants immobile, then we can start to appreciate the very sophisticated bilogy going on in leaves and flowers.”

“The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant. The villagers of Yirca, in Western Turkey, rely on the olive trees, and have been peacefully protecting them for over a month.”

 

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!

Tree Decision 2014: Fall Colors

Election Day — Tuesday, November 4 — is fast approaching and we want you get your democracy on by voting for tree that you think boasts the best fall color!

We have four strong candidates — dogwood, ginkgo, scarlet oak, and sweetgum — and they need YOUR vote to win.

And after you cast your vote, we will send you a thank you gift!

Voting is open now through Election Day — Tuesday, November 4 — until 8:00 p.m. when the precincts close in D.C. The winning tree will be revealed and we’ll publish a map that will show you where that species is planted across D.C. so that you can claim your front seat to the magnificent foliage in action!

 

 

The candidates are:

 

 


 Dogwood

 

 

 


 Ginkgo Biloba

 

 


Sweetgum

 

 


Scarlet Oak