Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Top 10 Things You Can Do for Trees

Whether you want to get your hands dirty or not, there are so many ways for you to help trees – some can be done right now!

  1. Water
    Young trees have a tough life in the city and they need all the help they can get. While you water trees, plants, and shrubs on your property consider filling up the Gator Bags or soaking your street trees. They’ll thank you! Young trees need 25 gallons of water a week to survive. Follow our Weekly Watering Alerts throughout the summer to keep tabs on whether or not to take out the hose.
  2. Mulch
    Mulch helps keeps the soil surrounding a tree nice and moist (and makes your life easier by keeping weeds in check!) It’s key to apply mulch in a doughnut shape around the tree trunk – stacking the mulch around the trunk can deprive a tree of air, water and nutrients it needs to develop and grow. Stick to our 3-3-3 rule: 3 inches of mulch in a 3-foot ring with a 3-inch space around the tree trunk.
  3. See Something, Say Something
    Does a street tree on your block have a branch that looks funky? Maybe a tree box outside your house has sat sad and vacant for too long. While the city manages trees in the right of way (the area between the sidewalk and the street), they can’t help issues they don’t know about. Submit any and all tree related requests to the city via 311.
  4. Knowledge is Power
    The more you know about the environment you’re in, the more invested you are in it. That goes for your trees! Learning to identify trees is a fun and eye opening experience, and one you can take with you wherever you go. We have lots of quick guides on how to identify trees by their showy leaves, pretty buds, and notable bark. Want to take your tree knowledge to the next level? Trees 101 is a great class we offer to get your tree I.D. journey started.
  5. Monitor for Pests
    Bugs don’t  kill only humans, they can also have a devastating impact on forests and tree populations. Take the Emerald Ash Borer. These small green beetles first arrived in the U.S. from East Asia in 2002 and pose a devastating threat from the tree from which it gets part of its name: the ash. There’s a near 100% mortality rate to ash trees it invades. Now found in 33 states and 3 Canadian provinces (and counting unfortunately), this pest has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees. While forestry officials, extension arborists, and new technologies are helping wage war against pests, often times regular ole people and their eyes on their yard are a big help. Brush up on local tree pests and diseases and report your finding to your local USDA extension specialist or via the naturalist app iNaturalist.
  6. Speak Up
    It’s no secret that development is booming in D.C. Cranes loom over downtown and everywhere you turn there is a new construction permit or sign. While some development is welcome and good for a city, it’s crucial that trees and greenspace is preserved and expanded in the DMV. We work with local officials, like minded organizations, and government entities big and small to submit public comments, provide testimony, and give feedback on a number of development plans throughout the District. Don’t feel like testifying in front of the D.C. Council? Don’t worry, we have so many ways to stand up for trees.
  7. Show Your Love
    Wear your heart on your sleeve! Your heart that is full of love for D.C.’s trees, that is. We have hats to protect you from the sun, a subtle and creative long sleeve, and the perennial fave – our take on the D.C. flag. Better yet? Every purchase in our online store goes directly to our mission to restore, enhance, and protect the tree canopy of our nation’s capital.
  8. Share the Love
    You know you love trees, we know you love trees, but do you share your love of trees with the world? We’re active on most social media platforms, sharing knowledge, alerts, and the occasional tree nerd meme. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and tweet us your favorite and/or least favorite urban tree related findings.
  9. Spread the Love
    Spread trees throughout the city – plant some! We have a plethora of ways for trees to get in the ground, whether on public or private property. Come and volunteer at a Community Tree Planting, nominate a school that could use some tree cover, or add some beautiful blooms, feisty foliage, or some grand greenery to your yard with our residential tree planting programs. We can professionally plant a tree in your yard for little or no cost to you!
  10. Set it and forget it
    There’s no easier way to support your city’s trees — you simply designate a monthly contribution to be charged to your credit card account, then sit back, relax, and grow trees! Evergreen Members truly exemplify what it means to be a dedicated member of the local community and an irreplaceable ambassador for our city’s trees. Make your lasting investment today and start supporting trees year round.

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