Canopy Trees We Plant for Free
If you are walking around DC this week, odds are you are crossing the street seeking the shade of those large canopy trees. Shade, water runoff mitigation, cooling, pollination, fall colors, pretty barks, pollution resistance, and did we mention shade? These magnificent and tough trees will benefit their environment for decades to come. The best part? We plant these superlative trees for FREE as part of our residential planting programs for District residents.
The American beech is an iconic, sturdy shade tree with smooth, blue-hued bark. It produces small (beech) nuts in a showy pod that is valued by wildlife and visually unique. Its dark green leaves turn a beautiful yellow in fall. A slow grower, American Beech usually reaches 50’ tall and 30’ wide in about 50 years. Beech does well in shade or partial shade, but can also be planted in full sun. This tree is available through our residential planting program, RiverSmart Homes. You can also get up to $50 back for planting this tree yourself through our tree rebate program.
Known for its canopies over the boulevards of Europe, the London planetree is a tough and majestic shade tree with attractive, mottled grayish-white bark that peels in the fall, and playful, round seed heads that dangle from branches providing seasonal interest in the fall and winter. London planetrees require full sunlight and are a fast grower – reaching 50 feet in height in 30 to 40 years. This tree is available through our residential planting program, RiverSmart Homes. You can also get up to $50 back for planting this tree yourself through our tree rebate program.
Oak | Quercus sp.
These iconic trees have a vast variety and huge positive impacts on their environments. They can reach from 40 to up to 100 feet in height, and after 20 years of growth, they will start producing acorns. They are long-lived, have fantastic canopies, and are invaluable to native wildlife. Here are the species that are available through our residential planting program.
- Bur Oak | Quercus macrocarpa
- Chestnut Oak | Quercus montana
- Northern Red Oak | Quercus rubra
- Overcup Oak | Quercus lyrata
- Pin Oak | Quercus palustris
- Scarlet Oak | Quercus coccinea
- Shingle Oak | Quercus imbricaria
- Shumard Oak | Quercus shumardii
- Swamp White Oak | Quercus bicolor
- Willow Oak | Quercus phellos
A graceful tree with dark, shaggy bark, light-green leaves, and a grand pyramidal shape, the bald cypress is a tough, urban tree valued by wildlife for its seed. It is called “bald” because it drops its leaves in the fall – uncommon for trees bearing cones. While it can tolerate some light shade, the bald cypress does best in full sun. It is considered a moderate grower – attaining approximately 50 feet in height in 30-40 years. This tree is available through our residential planting program, RiverSmart Homes. You can also get up to $100 back for planting this tree yourself through our tree rebate program.
The black willow has elongated green leaves and dark brown to black, deeply furrowed bark. The tiny yellowish-green flowers that appear in catkins in the spring provide nectar for bees and other pollinators. Growing best in full sun to part shade, the black willow can grow to a height of 50 feet in an urban setting.
The American sycamore is a tough, wide-canopied tree that will provide plenty of shade in the summer. Its signature brown bark exfoliates to reveal creamy whiter inner bark that can be seen from a great distance. Typically growing to its largest size along rivers and streams, this tree is highly resistant to pollution, salty soils, and other urban stressors. The American sycamore prefers full sun and can reach a height of 50 feet in 30 to 40 years.