Category Archives: three

What’s In Store for Trees After All This Wacky Weather?

Remember when we wore tee-shirts in February and it was 70 degrees? Now that we’re melting out from a snowstorm, that seems far away. If you think you are thrown off by the weird weather lately, imagine how the trees are reacting!

With an unusually warm February and the early onset of spring, trees began blooming far ahead of schedule. Researchers noted there were two possible outcomes of the early bloom: high and low temperature swings could mean forming blooms are more susceptible to stresses, or they could extend the length of the blooming season.

So when temperature’s dropped into the twenties and we received an (unwelcome) blanket of snow in early March, already blooming trees became somewhat of a live experiment in how their species handle severe weather changes. Overall the colder weather could mean less of a show for spring-blooming ornamentals (like our famous cherry trees) and could nip back new leafy growth. However, generally the plants should be able to outgrow the damage. Even still, this was not welcome news for the beloved cherry blossoms and sensitive magnolias.

The hard freeze last week transformed the delicate, fragrant flowers of magnolia trees in wilted, brown piles in less than a day. And the fate of our cherry blossoms? Considering temperatures below 27 degrees kill about 10 percent of the blossoms and at 24 degrees or lower, about 90 percent of the pink petals die, their peak bloom status is uncertain. However, some of the trees that were in the near-peak stage made it through the freeze unharmed.

That is great news for blossom watchers, but will the cherry blossoms suffer the same fate as the frozen magnolia blooms? Can they survive the repetitive hard freezes? We should know the answer soon. After all, if we do not reach peak bloom, that will be for the first time in their 105-year history. Regardless of the cherry trees and their bloom’s fate, this certainly been a spring of firsts.

Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

A Fan of Cherry Blossoms but Not Crowds?

Ah, springtime in D.C. The humidity hasn’t set in yet, the rooftops of restaurants are opening up…and our impressive cherry blossoms arrive. Even the ever changing peak bloom date and looming threat of snow has not stopped the District in celebrating our iconic pink and white blooms. With the blossoms come the crowds, and lots of them – almost 1 million people flock to the Tidal Basin each year to view the flowering cherry trees.

What’s a Washingtonian to do? If you’re feeling festive and want to get outside to enjoy the warmer weather and beautiful trees, fear not! There are many ways to celebrate the cherry trees without setting foot on the National Mall.

Dying to see a cherry tree without being surrounded by people? See if there are any in your neighborhood with our handy cherry tree map of D.C.

Cherry blossoms aren’t your thing but still want to experience the beauty of blooming trees? Well have we got the thing for you – a map of all the flowering trees in the District. Give the colorful crapemyrtle, the fragrant liliac, or the unusual goldenraintree some love.

 When you’re done with your own personalized tree tour, you can continue the cherry blossomed themed fun with a variety of food and drink specials, including a cherry blossom pop-up bar, sake oyster shooters, or even a cherry pie-filled matcha cupcake! There is truly something for everyone this spring.

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

A new season brings new opportunities to get outside and get involved with Casey Trees! Whether you want to get your hands dirty, learn more about trees, or pitch in where you can, we have something for everyone:

Throughout the Spring and Summer | Outreach Volunteers
Share your love of urban tree canopies and Casey Trees with D.C.! Outreach Volunteers are ambassadors of Casey Trees that promote our work at various events throughout the city, such as farmer’s markets, festivals, and neighborhood gatherings. Largely held outdoors, outreach volunteers at these events help spread the word about preserving and promoting D.C.’s tree canopy and green spaces.

Friday, April 28 | Park Inventory: Arbor Day at the Washington Monument
What better way to spend Arbor Day than outside on the National Mall? Come join Casey Trees as we survey the trees around the Washington Monument! It’s been over a decade since these iconic trees have been inventoried and we need your help. Want to put your tree skills to the test?

Saturday, May 6 | Park Inventory: Rawlins/Walt Whitman Park
Come join Casey Trees as we inventory an urban oasis — Rawlins/Walt Wiltman Park! We need your help to survey and take inventory of the trees. After learning the tools and techniques participants will split up into groups and begin measuring trees. We will be documenting tree species, height, diameter of the trunk, width of the crown and more.

Saturday, May 13 | Class: Trees 201
During this training, you will learn how to identify trees commonly found in Washington D.C. and then we will practice our tree ID skills by inventorying trees at Kennedy Rec Center. This course is geared toward Citizen Foresters, Citizen Scientists, Project Organizers and anyone who is interested in building confidence in tree identification.

Saturday, May 27 | Park Inventory: Washington Monument SW
Our inventory of the National Mall continues as we inventory the area southwest of the Washington Monument. Help us as we survey iconic trees in downtown D.C. If you’ve participated in our Trees 101 or Trees 201 class, this will be a great way to put your knowledge into action.

Saturday, June 1 | Park Inventory: Pershing Park
Inventory Trees in a Hidden Gem of Downtown D.C. with Casey Trees! Want to put your tree skills to the test as we survey trees in Pershing Park?

Saturday, June 17 | Park Inventory: Triangle Park (San Martin Statue)
Nestled by the National Mall and the George Washington University, we need your help inventorying trees in Triangle Park (San Martin Statue Park). This is a great opportunity for Citizen Scientists, people looking to hone their tree identification and measuring skills, or anyone looking to get outside and learn.

Saturday, July 6 | Park Inventory: McPherson Square
As we continue inventorying trees throughout the District, help us at McPherson Square. You’ll receive a short, hands-on training on site.  After learning the tools and techniques participants will split up into groups and begin measuring trees.

Saturday, July 15 | Park Inventory: Southwest Waterfront Park
This reestablished waterfront destination needs inventorying! Join us as we document tree species, height, diameter of the trunk, width of the crown and more.

Saturday, July 20 | Park Inventory: Franklin Square
Come spend an evening with Casey Trees on the historic Franklin Square! Put your tree skills to test (or learn some) while we survey trees throughout the square.

Saturday, August 5 | Park Inventory: Lederer Gardens & Environmental Education Center
Join Casey Trees on the last inventory of the season in the beautiful Lederer Gardens and Environmental Education Center. Many of these trees have never been surveyed before and we need your help. Want to put your tree skills to the test before fall sets in?

Get Your Trees Ready for Spring

As the old saying goes, “March comes in like a Lion, out like a Lamb”. D.C. has seen the full swing of that expression all in one weekend. Due to this wacky weather your trees could be in need of some TLC.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep your trees happy:

  • Inspect your trees. Trees may need structural pruning if they have damaged branches. Find pruning how-to videos on our website. Hire a certified arborist as needed.
  • *If* it were to snow—you never know. Remove snow and ice. Removing snow and ice from the tree’s branches will protect tree branches from bending and breaking.
  • Be a weed warrior: Spring is also prime time for weeds. Be sure to keep the area around your tree’s trunk free of weeds and grasses so that it can drink up all of the nutrients it needs.
  • Mulch using the 3-3-3 Rule: Avoid volcano mulching by maintaining a three-foot ring around the tree, three-inches high, with a three-inch space around the trunk.
  • Add trunk guards: Trees need protection from overzealous lawn equipment. Installing trunk guards can protect the tree’s main nutrient systems from being severed or damaged.
  • Need a tree trunk guard? Get yours here. Delivery available.

Check out more tips for year round tree care here, as well as videos tutorials and more!

Look for our weekly watering recommendation starting May 5. Get them by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Apply For a School Tree Planting for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018

Every fall and spring since 2003, we plant hundreds of trees at public and private schools in the District through our School Tree Planting  Program.

Schools tell us where trees are desired and we work with the approved entities to get the right tree species planted in the right location to help them fulfill their goals whether it be improved storm water mitigation; adding shade; seasonal color or privacy; or just beautifying the space.

Casey Trees provides the trees, tools and technical assistance — at no cost to the group, in exchange for the school committing to watering, weeding and mulching the trees as needed for the first three years they are in the ground.

Applications for a planting date in Fall 2017 (October – December) or Spring 2018 (March – May) are due May 1, 2017.

We would love to help you or your group re-tree a site in need. Apply now!

You can find more details about our School Tree Planting program along with information about our other tree planting offerings on our website.

And to see what a planting with Casey Trees is like, visit our Flickr and Instagram accounts.