May 15, 2023 /
Christina Hester

Trees in the Community

Fred Gamble, Jr. is a proud resident of DC’s Ward 8, long-time teacher, dog lover, and Casey Trees free trees recipient! Mr. Gamble is an ESOL (English to Speaker of Other Languages) teacher by profession and has been teaching close to 30 years. Two years ago, he moved into his current home in Southeast DC, which backs right up to Fort Stanton Park on the edge of Anacostia.

“I couldn’t have picked a better home. I love the neighborhood. I love all the trees on the side and back of the house, and Fort Stanton Park comes up right by the side of my home. It’s a park and no one will ever be able to build there. I’ll always have these trees”.

Soon after moving in, Mr. Gamble knew he wanted to add a few more trees to his property. He took advantage of Casey Trees’ free trees program right away. Casey Trees Urban Forester, Jonathan Carney, came out to the property for a consultation and worked with Mr. Gamble to pick the right trees to plant around his home.

“Jonathan was helpful and very knowledgeable. I asked him about my existing trees and he was able to identify all of them. The consultation was wonderful – he was excited – he said some people don’t think about trees; I said, ‘well I do.’ It’s important to create the canopy and have trees planted for our neighborhood. You know, we’re not as urbanized as up in Northwest, really. We have a lot more trees already, and a lot more open space too to plant more trees.”

With Jonathan’s help, Mr. Gamble selected a Black Cherry to plant in the front yard, a Black Willow for the forested side slope, to help with stormwater runoff and soil erosion, and a Southern Magnolia for the back yard.

“Being from Florida by way of South Carolina, you see a lot of Southern magnolias. So that’s why I wanted the Magnolia. I’ve always liked their leaves and flowers – the way they look. Love to see when they bloom”.

In addition to the new, young trees planted on his property, Mr. Gamble has several existing large canopy trees that surround his home. There are two especially tall trees – a Tulip Poplar and White Oak that stand side by side. They shade the area, making his home and entire yard cooler in the summer.

“I really enjoy the benefits of the shade on my house. It certainly makes my utility bills cheaper. I’m also just intrigued by the large trees I have back here too. I have these two trees out back – they’re huge! And that just tells me that they have a story to tell. I bet they’re close to 100 years old”.

Mr. Gamble not only appreciates the benefits the trees bring to his property, but also enjoys the benefits they bring to the wildlife around his home. Protective fencing was installed around his young trees to protect them from the deer he gets in his yard. But he is happy to see all the deer, racoons, possums, ground hogs, and birds.

“Some of my friends outside of DC come here to visit and say, ‘I can’t believe you see deer!’ like they can’t believe there’s deer and wildlife in the city. But there is. This area of the city has so much green space and wildlife to see”.

Anyone can make a positive ecological impact on their community, lower their home utility bills, mitigate stormwater, and beautify their yard with our free trees program. Trees are 100% free to all DC residents, which includes a consultation with a Casey Trees certified arborist. Join Mr. Gamble and your community by planting trees at your home today.