Blog Post By Jona Elwell

An Urban Tree Summit Recap

Last month, urban forest professionals from arborists to researchers to government officials and volunteers gathered virtually for a single purpose: to discuss the health and welfare of trees in our increasingly urban landscapes at the annual Urban Tree Summit!

While this was not our first time hosting with our partner in crime Montgomery Parks, due to the ongoing pandemic, this was the first completely virtual event. We may not have been able to gather in the exhibit hall, but we were able to welcome folks from all over the US. Learning how arborists, landscape architects, builders, and community members operate in other cities helps invigorate and inform our own practices here in the DMV. 

In an ode to 2020, Dr. John Ball’s presentation “Trees are Good Moms” focused on successful urban tree planting strategies. Namely, planting street trees close to other street trees because it’s been found that many urban trees fail because they are planted as individuals. “Trees do better with a buddy,” he noted. Even if they’re different species, they impact their soils around them for the benefit of all. Trees and humans  – we get by with a little help from our friends. 

Our enthusiastic presenters and speakers also included DC’s very own Urban Forestry Division Director Earl Eutsler, who shared effective strategies are needed to reverse decades of under-investment related to urban forests and how the city is working to interrupt patterns of neglect and deliver critical urban forest benefits to those most in need. 

Whether they focused on planting or pruning best practices, shared operational insights or gave us a peek into their cutting edge research, we’re thankful to each and every presenter that joined us in December.

Most of all – thank you! Having such a vibrant and interested attendees that we engaged from afar made the Summit something special. We’ll see you next year- hopefully in person!

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