May 22, 2023 /
Christina Hester

Closing Out the Planting Season

At Casey Trees, we have a different idea of the “New Year” – we look at the year in terms of fall and spring seasons. So, as we wrap on another planting season and our crews shift to watering and maintenance, let’s take a look back at our numbers this year.

Another planting season for the books, with over 5,000 trees added across DC this year – we want to spend some time thanking the people who made it possible. Our Tree Operations team works year-round to not only plant, but care for trees to ensure that they grow into large canopies that provide the District with shade for generations to come.

In true Casey Trees fashion, our crew recently hit a new record for planting the most trees in one day at the Armed Forces Retirement Home. 115 trees were added to the grounds during our last planting of the season! Shoutout to Evan Friedman, the lead Forester for the project and a huge thanks to Armed Forces Retirement Home for our continued partnership.

Another interesting statistic is that 87% of the trees planted this season were medium and large trees – meaning they will have the highest environmental impact as they mature, shading our city and providing countless benefits. While our record-breaking year is certainly something to be proud of, we pride ourselves not only on how many trees we can plant but where we can plant that will be the most impactful. We identified locations where at-risk populations, environmental risks, and planting opportunities intersect.

Combining these variables, we discover that wards 5, 7, and 8 are the areas to target, and in recent years, Casey Trees has been moving towards this goal to provide environmental equity within our mission to restore, enhance, and protect our urban forest.

This year, 60% of the trees in DC were planted in wards 5, 7, and 8. These wards represent the largest canopy gap, with the largest planting areas still available. These wards also have high populations of people of color, as well as the largest socioeconomic gap – with average income, employment, and education levels falling below average for the city. Additionally, when mapping high heat patches within the areas served by the MS4 sewer system, we find wards 5, 7, and 8 have the highest concentration of hot zones.

As we shift towards the tree care season, it’s important to recognize maintenance and realize how crucial it is. Without proper care, young trees won’t gain the proper foundation they need to grow and live long lives. Get involved today and help give young trees a leg up in becoming an important part of our growing tree canopy!