Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Why the Extended Planting Season?

We’ve had a busy and fruitful planting season this year – and we are not done yet. We’re planting in June! Typically our spring planting season runs from March-May, but not this year. We are happy to say that we have been happily and healthily planting in June.

Our Tree Planting Director Rob Shaut, says that a few factors contributed:

  • Something’s Gotta Give – More Trees, Same Timeframe: We share a number of tree planting goals with our partners, like DPR and DDOT. As those goals grow, our tree planting department requires more planting days to get trees in the ground. There are only so many Saturdays we have available call upon our enthusiastic and supremely helpful volunteers to get trees planted.
  • Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork – Watering Help: While the weather was cool, it is definitely starting to heat up in the DMV. What does that mean for newly planted trees and their chances to survive the summer heat? For plantings in our extended season, we’ve targeted schools and universities (like American University!) with their own dedicated facility teams to supplement tree watering during these slightly more stressful transplant times.
  • May that Felt Like March – Weather: Luckily this was one of the coldest, rainiest, slowest starts to spring in years. And we’re not the ones saying that! Capital Weather Gang noted 35 of the past 50 days between March and May were below average temperature. That means trees that went in the ground are more likely to establish and grow. So it may seem like we’re planting later in the season, but with cooler temps, seasonally we’re in the same zone. While it finally seems like spring is gone and summers’ here, this  June is forecast to be cooler than last year, which again helps trees we plant now survive the summers.

Ultimately, these plantings help move our mission to restore, enhance, and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital. Want to get involved? While our planting season has finally ended, we have plenty of ways for you to help us fulfill our mission – from speaking up to developers, measuring trees, and even caring for them. See you at an event soon!

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