Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Have you walked by a tree getting the short end of stick? Be a friend to that tree and report it.

Trees in urban environments have it rough. Not only do they have to deal with getting hit by car doors, being backed up into and foot traffic, they need to withstand construction going on all around them.

The Tree Act, passed in 2002, serves as a valuable accounting exercise for removal and replacement of trees. While it does nothing to address how trees are cared for if not being removed there is a DC ordinance that makes it a crime to willfully top, cut down, remove, girdle, break, wound, destroy, or in any manner injure any public tree (DC ST sec 22-3310).

Before working in the public right-of-way, one needs a DDOT Public Space Permit. The terms and conditions of that permit require that: the applicant will not cut or injure trees, or pile earth or other material within 8 feet of trees, unless such trees are properly protected in a manner approved by the Director of the Department of Transportation or his representative.

Contact 311 and/or DDOT to report:

  • A possible violation DC law
  • A possible violation of the terms and conditions of a DDOT Public Space Permit, or the absence of such a permit
  • A possible violation of the terms and conditions of a contractor’s contract with DC government, if the work is being done under one, due to the stocking of material and inadequate/compromised tree protection device.
Be sure to take note of where you see the possible infraction (street address or cross streets) and if possible take a picture. Put that camera phone to good use.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Casey Trees and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) have done it again.

Beginning this spring,
Casey Trees through the DDOE's RiverSmart Homes program, will plant shade trees on the property of DC homeowners for $50.00 per tree. There is no limit to the number of trees that can be planted. Front yard, side yard, back yard. No problem. Here is how the program works.
  • Complete and submit the short online contact form. Wait patiently.
  • In late winter/early spring 2010, a Casey Trees representative will contact you to schedule a tree siting to discuss which tree species and locations in the yard help meet your goals. Homeowners will be able to select from a list of 10-12 shade trees with the help of the Casey Trees representative. Right Tree, Right Space, Right at Home principals will guide the tree selection.
  • Once the species and locations are agreed upon, Casey Trees will then schedule the planting for between March and May.
Only homeowners in the District can take advantage of the RiverSmart Homes program. If you want to plant trees at an apartment building, coop, church, school, etc. located in DC and can identify locations for ten or more trees to be planted you can apply for a Community Tree Planting (CTP). Casey Trees provides the trees, tools and technical assistance for free.

Now what if you want to plant a tree that is not included on the RiverSmart Homes tree list? Another no problem. You can still take advantage of Casey Trees Tree Rebate. Purchase and plant a tree at your home and you can receive up to $50 back per tree (limit 3 trees per property). The only trees that are ineligible are Ash trees and invasives.

Another great tree planting program is the Treescape Design Workshop where Casey Trees Staff will help you design a custom treescape plan for your yard and then deliver a shade tree to your home – all for free. The next workshops will take place on Tuesday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 31, 2010. Register today.

For more information or to sign up for the RiverSmart Homes program, visit the DDOE website.


In April 2009, Casey Trees launched the Casey Trees Map, an interactive online tool to help users determine the existing Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) and planting opportunities for any address in the District and identify every tree Casey Trees has planted since 2003.

Just today in a soft launch we rolled out an enhanced version of Casey Trees Map featuring our new Trees of Note program and Add-A-Tree feature.

Trees of Note is a program that connects people to trees in the District deemed special because of their size, history and/or personal significance. Anyone can nominate or locate trees in three distinguished categories – Big Trees, Witness Trees and My Tree.

  • Big Trees are those valued for their sheer size and eligible for nomination to the National Register of Big Trees. The Register lists 826 species of trees. So far DC only has one Champion Tree, located on the U.S. Capitol grounds. Can you find another?
  • Witness Trees are trees present during a historical event or period. Frederick Douglass mentioned the White oak on his front lawn in his journal entries. Think of what that tree saw.
  • My Trees are those with personal meaning. This can be a tree you think has the prettiest blossoms in your neighborhood or even one you got married under. If it is special to you, we want to know about it.
Trees in DC are nominated to the Trees of Note program using the new Casey Trees Map point and click Add-a-Tree feature. The Add-A-Tree feature also allows you to add trees to the Casey Trees Map that you have recently planted in the District. Trees that you add to the map will count towards the City’s Urban Tree Canopy Goal of 40 percent by 2035.

In spring 2010, we will add a new tool that will allow you to update or delete a tree’s information in the event the tree has been removed or misidentified.

Nominating or adding a tree is easy to do own your own but I’ll walk you through the basic steps.

  • To start, go to The Casey Trees Map is found under Geographic Resources -> Interactive Maps.
  • Simply hit the ENTER button on the opening screen. The second screen provides you with basic prompts including a PAGE HELP button. When you are ready, hit the CLOSE button.
  • To nominate or add a new tree zoom in on the map using your mouse or the zoom tool in the left corner until the button at the top right of the map labeled ADD TREE fills in.
  • Go ahead and click it. Next choose what type of tree you want to add. The button on the left is for trees you have planted, the one on the right is for the Trees of Note program.
  • Scroll on the map to the approximate location you believe the tree is locate and click your mouse. A short form asking you a few questions about the tree will pop up immediately.
  • Fill out the form to the best of your knowledge. If you do not know the genus or species, you may select OTHER from the drop down bar. You may also add a photo. The more information you provide the easier the tree will be to find and confirm.
  • You're done!
What happens after you take the time to add a tree to the Casey Trees Map? A Casey Trees Citizen Verifier will visit the tree and confirm the information submitted. If the nominated tree is on private property the Citizen Verifier will arrange a time that is convenient for you to come out.

The District is much more than bricks and mortar. We hope the Casey Trees Map and Trees of Note program better connects you to the City’s trees, encourages you to visit the neighborhoods these trees are in and gets you to help protect and care for existing trees so we may have more Trees of Note in the future.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Casey Trees and Trees for Georgetown are partnering to plant 47 new residential street trees in Georgetown. Planting is currently underway and will conclude at the end of the December.

Planting locations include street tree boxes that are empty or those that have dead trees or stumps and stretches of sidewalk that can accommodate new tree boxes.
The District Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) is removing any dead trees and stumps, taking existing tree boxes down to sidewalk level and coordinating the cutting of two new tree boxes.

Casey Trees will amend the soil, plant the trees, hang tree care instruction tags and return to water them twice during the summer and to prune them following the second year. Trees that fail during their first year will be replaced the following planting season.

Trees for Georgetown, an all volunteer committee under the auspices of the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG), dedicated to the planting, care and maintenance of residential street trees in the village of Georgetown raises funds through its spring fundraising event and personal solicitations to purchase and plant trees for its residential streets each year. Donations are accepted year round. Trees for Georgetown has donated a portion of these proceeds to Casey Trees to help offset tree purchase and labor costs associated with the beatification project.

In addition to sponsoring new trees for the village, Trees for Georgetown has underwritten custom-made wrought iron fences for each newly planted tree box to shield trees from vehicle doors, yard maintenance equipment and foot traffic.

In the spring, Trees for Georgetown Chair, Betsy Emes, will launch a neighborhood watering campaign emphasizing 25 to Stay Alive – 25 gallons of water (1.5” of rainfall) per tree per week in times of little or no rainfall. Neighbors are encouraged to use irrigation bags, provided free of charge by Casey Trees, to ensure their trees receive the proper amount of water.

“One of the most effective ways a resident can improve the social, ecological, and economic value of a neighborhood is to help ensure that new trees thrive,” said Emes. “In the first two years especially, these new trees need attention to get established. We ask that residents share that responsibility, and in the end we will all benefit from a beautiful tree canopy across Georgetown”.

Eight species of trees will be planted in Georgetown including Nuttel oak, Swamp white oak, Parrotia persica, Sweetgum, London plane, Chinese elm, Zelkova, and Shumard oak.

Photo - Casey Trees field crew in action in Georgetown

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Contributing Writer - Sue Erhardt, Director of Education

We have all heard that it is better to give than to receive. Casey Trees has had the great fortune to be on the receiving end of people’s time and hard work this year.

It has been Casey Trees privilege to have welcomed over 1700 Citizen Foresters and volunteers over this past year. These dedicated individuals have helped us plant and care for trees all over the District. I would like to thank them for donating over 5300 hours of their precious time to help us advance our Urban Tree Canopy Goal of 40 percent by 2035.

I would also like to highlight the 11 schools that invited Casey Trees to their campuses to plant trees with their students. Schools have different reasons for plantings trees. Sometimes they plant trees for beautification, sometimes they want to incorporate the trees in a science or environmental project, and sometimes reasons can be a combination of both.

The Latin American Montessori Bi-cultural School (LAMB) wanted to plant trees with different leaf shapes to help their students learn about shapes and sizes. For most of the 500 LAMB students this was their first experience planting a tree. It is a great experience to help children feel a sense of accomplishment, and to show them what working together can accomplish. It is truly a powerful experience.

Just below are just two of the many thank you notes we received from LAMB School students following our tree planting with them.

If you like to join the group of selfless people who have chosen to be the change in the District go to and sign up for a class or a monthly Tree Walk.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Every so often you may notice spray paint marks on street trees and sidewalks. What do they mean?

The Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) whose mission is to establish a full population of street trees within the District and to assure those that those streets trees are maintained in a healthy and safe condition marks trees with spray paint to indicate to its crews what tree maintenance is scheduled for those locations.

Owners of underground facilities i.e. Washington Gas and Pepco use spray paint to mark facilities they own or manage before a homeowner or excavator digs or alters the ground. Miss Utility
, a one-call notification center, notifies subscribing underground facility owners of proposed excavation plans. (Before you dig, call Miss Utility. It's free and the law.)

Here is your cheat sheet for knowing what markings commonly used Feel free to use this info as an ice breaker at an upcoming holiday party.

  • Trunk marks in orange indicate a tree marked for removal.

  • Trunk marks in yellow indicate a female Ginkgo tree scheduled to be injected or sprayed to limit fruit production.
  • Curb paint marks the location for new street tree plantings. Spray painted dots are usually the size of an apple, color used to vary depending on the availability of the particular paint in the hands of the arborist. Older dots used to vary from green to yellow to white to red, but current marking is more uniformly done in fluorescent orange or pink.
  • Painted lines along the road, curb and grass, perpendicular to the road/sidewalk mark underground utilities. Yellow marks gas (Washington Gas), blue marks water lines and meters (DC WASA).

Have a concern why a certain tree or sidewalk is marked as it is? Contact the UFA at 311 or 202-673-6813 or Miss Utility at 800-257-7777 and ask them what type of work is scheduled, why and when.


The holiday season is upon us. I attempted to doing my shopping yesterday and was less than successful. Lines were long, shelves were a mess, I was overheated in my jacket, scarf, gloves and hat and nothing appealed to me. No one in my life needed a talking mounted bass fish or a snuggie.

Don't be like me. Save yourself the grief. As you begin to make your holiday shopping list, consider sponsoring a Commemorative Tree in recognition of someone as a gift instead of buying that reindeer sweater you are sure to buy in pure desperation.

By purchasing a Commemorative Tree you are not only buying a cool and interesting gift for someone you are also making the District a cleaner, healthier and more beautiful city and advancing our Urban Tree Canopy Goal of 40 percent by 2035.
There are two Commemorative Tree options - a public or a private dedication.

At a public dedication, the tree is planted during a spring (March - May) or fall (Oct - Dec) Community Tree Planting. Volunteers can plant the tree for you or you can choose to plant the tree with the help of your friends, family, etc. and Casey Trees staff.

At a private dedication, you decide when, where and the species of tree to be planted (from a pre-approved list). All you need to do is ensure you have the permission of the property owner of where you want to plant the tree. As with the public dedication, you can choose to help plant the tree or have our crew do it for you.
In addition to the tree planting, the recipient receives photos of the event and other commemorative items and the tree dedication is acknowledged online on the heavily trafficked Casey Trees Map.

So if you have been trying to come up with the perfect gift why not try giving that friend, loved one, boss, post man, your favorite barista, etc. something different and plant a tree in their honor.

Learn more about Commemorative Trees.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Guest Contributor - Jim Woodworth, Director of Tree Planting

As an arborist with a passion and bias for native species, it took me a while to come around to fully embracing and appreciating the Ginkgo tree for all its fascinating virtues. It is quite a curious tree.

Consider that the gingko biloba is the most ancient of tree specie
s dating back over 200 million years to a region in China and it's also an urban survivor, tolerant of pollution, abuse and tight growing spaces. Its form and habit is so upright and oddly architectural, it strikes quite a pose, framing the narrowest of city streetscapes.

The ginkgo has my vote for the most vibrant and stunning yellow fall color, and the unique, fan shaped leaf (biloba, meaning "two lobes"--if you look closely you will see) even served as stationary letter head for the 1400 Monroe Street NW block association.

The fruit, produced by female trees, is the main reason the ginkgo tree gets a bad rap. Considered to produce an offensive smell by some, the fruit is highly valued by some Asian cultures for its taste and key to longevity. While the fruit can admittedly emit a strong odor, the smell is truly the culprit of individuals allowing the fruit to drop and remain uncollected. The simple solution is to collect and dispose of the fruit on a regular basis. Collecting the fruit when done routinely takes just a few minutes.

The obvious question is "why not just plant male trees if female trees produce the fruit?" Great question, tricky answer. The species has evolved the ability to change sex as needed to ensure an appropriate ratio of male and female. You may plant a male tree but presto chango, the tree may become a female down the road. Nothing you can do.

What about chemical control or reproduction you say? Unfortunately, spraying and injecting does not seem to reliably do the trick and can prove expensive and a time waster.

We continue to plant ginkgo trees for several reasons. They make great shade trees and diversity is the key to a healthy urban forest. No matter what tree you plant, all trees present some potential social negatives such as leaf or fruit litter or conflicts with hardscape. So instead of shaking your finger at the ginkgo, allow yourself to appreciate it.

Read more about the curious ginkgo tree and other DC Arbor Issues.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


A common question we get to our office is who should I call to prune or take a look at a tree.

The first part of the answer is - always an ISA licensed Arborist. Arborists are specialists in the care of trees. Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to to provide proper care. You wouldn't take your sick child to be examined by an auto mechanic would you?

Services that arborists can provide include pruning, removal, emergency tree care, planting and a wide variety of other tree care services.

So where do you find an ISA Certified Arborist? The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture - yes, it is a mouthfull - developed a go-to web resource ( to help individuals in MD, VA, WV and DC find licensed arborists that service trees in their area. You can search by arborist last name or by county.

Additionally, you can verify an individual is a licensed arborist by visiting their other find an arborist web tool.


Did you know that DC has a Tree Act? While it does not look like the crafty origami creation above, the District has had a Tree Act on the books since 2002 to protect the District's Urban Tree Canopy (UTC).

Officially named the Urban Forest Preservation Act, the Tree Act protects all trees with a circumference of 55 inches (17.5 inches in diameter) or more by designating them as Special Trees. The designation requires individuals to obtain a permit to cut down, remove, girdle, break, top or destroy any tree of this size or greater on public or private property.

If someone does any of the aforementioned without a permit, they are subject to a fine of not less than a $100 per inch of circumference. More simply put, they will have to pay a minimum fine of $5,500.
Not cheap.

Individuals can obtain a permit to remove a Special Tree if the tree is:

  • Hazardous- An ISA certified arborist or UFA arborist must determine that it is.
  • Appropriate for removal - Must be identified so by regulation. Trees that may be removed are Tree of Heaven, Mulberry and Norway Maples.
Or if the individual agrees to:
  • Pay into the Tree Fund - must be equal to $35.00 for each inch of circumference.
  • Plant more trees - Quantity of replacement saplings aggregate circumference must equal or exceed the circumference of the Special Tree to be removed.
Money in the Tree Fund goes towards planting new trees, covering costs associated with administering the Tree Act and assisting DC residents meet certain income guidelines with the removal costs of hazardous trees.

To learn more about the Tree Act or to request a permit to remove a Special Tree, visit the DC UFA website.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Are you a federal employee interested in making the District a better place for everyone to live, work and play?

Consider supporting Casey Trees work through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the only authorized workplace charitable giving drive for employees of the federal government. Casey Trees CFC Code is 24598.

Giving through the CFC is easy to do. You determine the amount to give - minimum $1 per pay period - and the method of payment.

New in 2009, you have the option to give electronically by filling out and printing an online Pledge Form or you can contribute via credit/debit card and e-Check electronic bank transactions in a paperless e-Giving process.

You can also continue to donate by filling out the traditional paper Pledge Form. Payroll deduction is still a great choice if you choose the paper or online Pledge Form.

If you are not a federal employee, you can still help Casey Trees’ work through financial gifts. Donations of any amount can be securely made online. Several Casey Trees tree planting and education initiatives are available for sponsorship.

Monday, November 9, 2009


By now you know that I love fall for the changing colors of the leaves. Red, orange, yellow...I like them all. But all good things come to an end and soon those leaves I admire so much will be on the ground waiting for me to rake them up. And you should rake leaves so you can help prevent accidents and prevent storm drains from clogging. Nothing good comes without a cost.

So what do you do with these leaves? From November 2 to January 9 the Department of Public Works (DPW) will collect them for you. There are two options for collection.

  • Rake the leaves into piles in the curbside treebox space. These leaves will be collected by a vacuum truck and composted. District residents can then request compost between March and October by calling 311.
  • Bag the leaves and place them in either the treebox space or alley in neighborhoods with rear trash and recycling collections. Be sure to put the bags next to the recycling containers. These leaves go straight to the landfill. No composting, no recycling. Sad face.
Before you rake, learn when leaf collection is schedule for your neighborhood. I've even made it easy for you. Click here or the adorable puppy above for the 2009-2010 Leaf Collection Schedule.

Happy raking!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Why is Answered

Being from California, fall on the east coast is always treat. There is something about leaves changing color that makes the weather getting colder somehow okay.

For ten years I have admired the yellows, oranges and reds but never thought to learn why the leaves change color at all. My only contribution has been providing keen observations such as "how pretty" and "ohh, look" out loud. Okay, those comments aren't that insightful but you know everyone is compelled to say similar things.

Thankfully for all of us the Washington Post has provided us with some answers in their Why do leaves do this? (Nov. 3, 2009) article. Now we can go forth and say "how pretty" followed by "you do know that leaves change color because of unmasking pigments and chemical compounds?".

Feel free to say it with an air of superiority.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Casey Trees loves a b.b.q. Whether it's hamburgers or tofu dogs on the grill, we are happy. We love it so much we are exhibiting at the Third Annual Back to School BBQ hosted by Councilwoman Mary Cheh this Saturday, September 26, 2009 from 11 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Turtle Park (45th and Van Ness NW). The best part about this bbq is that grilled will be manned by District firefighters.

Come check out all the family-friendly activities including a game of kickball and be sure to say hi.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


H Street will be a rockin' this Saturday, September 19, 2009 from 12-6 p.m. I am talking live music, sake garden, decorated street cars, and yes... a moon bounce. If there is ever a reason to attend a street festival it is because of a moon bounce. I am not kidding. They are amazing.

Oh and of course Casey Trees will be there. We are everywhere. To make your tree purchasing and planting even easier, Frager's Hardware will be on hand with trees for purchase. Casey Trees will be at the booth right next door with our famous Tree Rebates. You purchase and plant the tree in DC and we will mail you a check for up to $50.00 per tree (3 trees max per property). For those of you who are math challenged (i.e. me) that can be up to $150.00.

So stop by our booth, say hi, pick up some information on our Programs and Classes, fall Community Tree Planting schedule, and interactive online tree tools.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1 Tree, 2 Trees, 3 Trees, 4 Trees....

Contributing Writer - Holli Howard, Director of Geographic Resources

Community Tree Inventories help neighborhoods, civic associations, schools, etc. locate and map existing trees, identify locations for new trees, and more broadly speaking, engage individuals and promote increased tree planting.

Casey Trees has partnered with several community groups to inventory trees in their neighborhood including Trees for Georgetown, Dupont Circle Citizen's Association, McLean Gardens, and most recently Crestwood.

This past Saturday, over 40 Crestwood residents with Casey Trees' staff and Citizen Foresters collected detailed information about the trees on private property including tree species, size, and health. The primary goals for this inventory were identification and structure of the neighborhood urban forest, location of spaces for future plantings and to raise community awareness. The results of the inventory will be analyzed, put into a report for the community, and the data will be added to our database to help us monitor the tree canopy of the District.

Options for groups following the Community Tree Inventory include hosting a Treescape Design Workshop - our landscape design experts come to you, applying for a Community Tree Planting, or taking advantage of our Tree Rebate.

If your group is interested in partnering with Casey Trees to do a Community Tree Inventory, contact me at or 202-349-1905.

And in case you are wondering the tree above was inventoried this past weekend. It is a large white oak - Quercus alba. Wouldn't it be nice to learn what trees are in your yard and neighborhood?

Monday, September 14, 2009


Did you see it? Did you see it?

Casey Trees' Tree Walks were profiled in the Washington Post's Weekend Edition. Not too shabby.

The next Tree Walk will highlight trees in the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood and be a featured part of Cultural Tourism DC's fall WalkingTown, DC weekend event on September, 19 and 20, 2009 (10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.) and (10:00 a.m.) respectively. Not only will there will be three tours instead of just one, they will also all be free.

If you have been on the fence about signing up for a Tree Walk in the past this is the perfect opportunity to try us out. All you have to do is sign up. Registration for this special event will be done through Cultural Tourism.

Once you've been to one Tree Walk, you'll want to do each one that comes your way including the Frederick Douglass Home and Grounds in October and the National Arboretum's Gotelli Collection of Dwarf and Slow-Growing Conifers in November. To learn more about these and other programs and classes, click here.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Casey Trees will plant over 350 trees at 22 locations spread across all eight Wards this fall as part of our Community Tree Planting program. Each planted tree will help the District meet its Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) Goal of 40 percent, or 216,300 new trees, by 2035. That is a lot of trees.

Established in 2005, the CTP program provides tools, trees, and technical assistance to individuals and groups interested in adding trees - 10 or more - to apartment complexes, synagogues, churches, parks, and even private yards located in the District free of charge. Schools are eligible to request fewer trees.

The fall CTP schedule represents the most diverse collection of planting locations to date and includes a marina, cemetery, short-term shelter for young people, embassy, Fort Circle park, affordable apartment complex, traffic circle, university and five elementary schools. We are going to be busy and seeing all different parts of the City.

These trees are not going to plant themselves so we need your help. Sign up today and bring a friend. By introducing new folks to Casey Trees your are helping us to expand awareness about the important role trees play in making the District a more livable city.

Also think about submitting a CTP application. Requests received before November 30, 2009 are eligible for a spring (March - May) tree planting.

Click here to register and see you and soon.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I remember when I was in college I would flip through the course catalog a couple weeks before class registration opened and get way excited. Each class sounded better than the next. Somehow they even made Physics and Statistics sound exciting (they aren't). Of course I would then go to the first day of class and realize it was not going to be the sugary treat that I expected . Half of the time the content was completely different than written. What a let down.

I still take classes but now I make sure I know what I am going to get before I get there. I can tell you that Casey Trees classes and workshops are gold and the value is crazy insane - either free or just $10.00. I've spent that much on a hot dog - which may or may not have been green - at a DC United game.

For those of you have not signed up for a Treescape Design Workshop (Wed. Sept. 9 and Tues. Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.) yet, listen up. It's go time. This workshop is taught by seasoned landscape design professionals and arborists who not only know their stuff but how to make information on trees interesting and engaging.

You get to bring in simple sketches or photos of your yard and work with these folks to design a treescape plan that works for you. You say "I want shade". We will tell you where to plant. You say I" want seasonal color". We will say what tree to plant. You want to know how to plant a tree. We will tell you just what to do.

What you walk away with is a solid plan for your yard, direction, and confidence to get it done. Above is a sample landscaping plan from a previous Treescape Design Workshop attendee. You can see serious thought went into it - where existing trees and powers lines are located, how to maximize shade, and even options.

And let's talk about the FREE shade tree you get delivered to your house during the fall planting season. Not only do you not have to go to the store, struggle with which one to buy, worry about its health, or lug it back to your house, you get the tree for free. Who does that? Angels and Casey Trees.

Trees you can select from this season include:

  • Red maple
  • River birch
  • American holly
  • Southern magnolia
  • Willow oak
  • Bald cypress
Casey Trees is also open to taking the Treescape Design Workshop on the road. If your civic association, church group, etc. want to host a Treescape Design Workshop, all you have to do is provide the venue, guarantee 25 participants, and either pay $10.00 per person or host a meal/refreshments for all the attendees and instructors. Of course all the trees must be planted in DC.

Think about it and lets get some trees in the ground. Sign up here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Just like with dating, you got to put yourself out there to get noticed. Casey Trees is no wallflower. We are out and about and want to get asked to the dance.

Coming up for us soon is Crafty Bastards! Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, October 3, 2009. We are proud to be a Community Sponsor of this great DC event.

Now in its 6th year, Crafty Bastards! Arts & Crafts Fair is an exhibition and sale of handmade alternative arts and crafts from independent artists presented by the Washington City Paper. The fair is all-day, outdoors, free to attend, and will offer goods for sale, food, entertainment, prizes, and more!

In other words, it is a smokin' fun time.

Stop by our booth - #56 - pick up a Tree Rebate Form or class schedule, check out the Water By-Cycle which will be on site, or just say "we love what you are doing!". Everyone loves a compliment.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Contributing Writer - Mike Galvin, Deputy Director

It is that time of year again – back to teachers, back to books, and back to report cards. Bringing the report card home can be anxious time for students, but report cards are an important tool for the parents, the student, and the teachers to be able to measure progress and success.

Here at Casey Trees, we are also concerned about report cards. In spring 2009, Casey Trees launched the first annual Tree Report Card, the only independent evaluation of the District’s trees and tree canopy. As our mission is to restore, enhance, and protect the tree canopy of the Nation’s capital, knowing how that canopy is doing is very important to us. The first Tree Report Card yielded an overall “B” grade – not bad at all (something most students would be pleased to bring home). The Report Card did however identify some weak areas and areas for improvement.
In April of 2008, Mayor Fenty announced a Tree Canopy Cover goal for Washington, D.C. The goal is to have 40% of the land area of D.C covered with tree canopy by the year 2035. This will require the planting of 8,600 trees per year for 25 years.
It is pretty tough to cram for that kind of test. Please help D.C maintain a great grade for 2009 and volunteer to plant trees with us this fall. You can sign up for Tree Planting and Care events on our web site sign-up tool.
Thanks for helping us achieve our mission, and for helping DC’s tree canopy get a good grade for 2009. Good luck to all of our students as well; best wishes for success in the 2009-2010 school year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I admit it. I watch a lot of HGTV.

In doing so I see a lot of do-it-yourself projects. Needless to say some turn out more successful than others. The less than fantastic projects usually flop because they project organizers do not do their homework or miss some important steps along the way. It happens. While comical for me, not funny for the homeowner.

Casey Trees embraces the D-I-Y spirit. Planting trees while relatively simple can be a little intimidating. What do I plant? Where do I plant it? When do I plant it? There are an endless amount of questions that can pop up and discourage someone from planting a tree. The good news is that Casey Trees has the answers and the class to help you make you a tree planting expert. I guarantee your neighbors will marvel at your skill.

Casey Trees' Treescape Design Workshops teach DC residents about basic tree care and help them design a custom treescape plan for their yard - front, back, side, it is up to you. Participants are encouraged to bring in photos of their yard, measurements, location of existing power lines and trees to determine what type and where trees make sense based on their expressed needs.

No need to get fancy. Bring your sketches on the back of a napkin or in crayon.

The best news is that not only will you walk away with a treescape plan for your yard and the knowledge of how to properly care for your trees once they are in the ground but you get to pick a shade tree to be delivered to your house in the next planting season for FREE. Seeing that trees can cost several hundred dollars, you are saving some serious coin just by spending two hours with us. Plus you don't have to worry about getting the tree from the nursery to the store. I am pretty sure Metro frowns on ginkgo trees being brought on the trains.

Only three Treescape Design Workshops are scheduled for this fall - 9/9, 9/15 and 11/3 - and they fill up fast. So hurry up and register today.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Contributing Writer - Sue Erhardt, Director of Education

As Casey Trees Director of Education I invite you to make a difference in DC by becoming a volunteer Citizen Forester. Citizen Foresters are individuals passionate about improving the environment. They work with Casey Trees to plant trees, educate the public about proper tree care, and water trees during Washington’s hot summers.

Citizen Foresters are both transplant and long term Washingtonians. Some live in condos and apartments, they might not have any trees, and others live in homes with yards. Some Citizen Foresters are college students who seek to apply their studies to the surrounding community. Other Citizen Foresters are retired people with free time. No matter their age, race, or economic background they all have something in common. They are working to achieve sustainable development, increase the tree canopy, care for trees, and give back to a city that they love. Time commitment is minimal. You determine how little or much time you want to commit serving as a Citizen Forester. Volunteer opportunities exist year round.

Becoming a Citizen Forester is easy. Simply enroll in Casey Trees' Trees 101 class. You will learn about basic tree ecology, identification, and care and strategies for restoring the District's tree canopy. No previous experience is necessary. The next tree Trees 101 orientation class is Wednesday, September 30, 2009. Sign up today. If you have been looking for a way to make DC a more livable and green City, becoming a Citizen Forester is perfect for you. Come alone, bring a friend, just make sure you come on September 30, 2009.

For more information on becoming a Citizen Forester, click here or contact me at


Oh no...the interns are gone. Check out the photos from their graduation tree care event at Newark Community Garden in NW on our Facebook Fan Page.

Total trees watered, miles biked, smiles given, babies kissed and so forth will be calculated in the coming weeks. All we know right now is that we already miss them. Thanks Class of 2009.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Contributing Writer - Nina Shallal, Intern

We are in the final weeks of the internship and all the interns are beginning to acknowledge this somber fact by exchanging phone number and promises to stay in touch. Otherwise we are continuing to work in the field, maintaining Casey Trees-planted trees and helping with the Urban Forest Effects and Values (UFORE) Inventory.

On Tuesday we visited the U.S. National Arboretum to learn about the Urban Forestry examination and what it is like to work at the Arboretum. We also went on a tour of the Youth Garden which was filled with beautiful flowers and fruits, many of which we had never seen before. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and was able to give us amazing detail about each plant and fruit being grown. We were even lucky enough to taste some of the organically grown strawberries.

After our tour we created an accessible path around the Youth Garden using custom wood chips. We were thankful that the wood chips were several pounds lighter than the mulch we have been working with everyday. However, after an hour we began to feel the burn. Once the walkway was complete - four hours later - we explored the Asian tree collection which was unbelievable. When the day finally came to an end, we were all exhausted.

For the rest of the week it was business as usual with the exception of Thursday when Casey Trees hosted a press conference for the launch of the Water By-Cycle.

We are extremely proud of the work we have done thus far and look forward to the homestretch.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Contributing Writer - Karja Hansen, Bike Crew Captain

The Casey Trees Water By-Cycle crew has made tremendous strides these past two weeks Jonathan, one of our summer interns who started out never having ridden a bicycle, experienced his first full day of caring for trees by bicycle, riding over 9 miles and watering over 30 trees on Capitol Hill and in Eastern Market. He was awesome and biked like a champ.

The following day our crew worked downtown along Massachusetts Avenue caring for trees that have not been adopted by any person or business in the neighborhood. If you call our office we will happily tell you where trees still need to be adopted and how to properly water them. We spent a lot of time watering these newly planted trees and were rewarded with bright green leaf buds the following week.

This past Thursday, Casey Trees officially launched the Water By-Cycle at Samuel Gompers Park after weeks of successful trial runs. We we’re interview by Patrick Madden from WAMU, (see above) and Mike Galvin christened the trailer and its brand new signs with a bottle of Sports Drink – poured, not broken. Casey Trees does not litter!

While the summer is coming to an end, the Water By-Cycle is still making its rounds. Be sure to say hello or ask a question about tree care or how you can get involved with Casey Trees.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Contributing Writers - Heydi Lovo & Lina Montropoli

This week, we did a lot. We continued with the urban tree maintenance watering and mulching on an average 35 trees per day. Thankfully, frequent rain helped the the trees get the 25 gallons of water they need each week to survive.

On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to volunteer at Common Good City Farm located at 3rd and V Streets, NW. As an urban farm its focus is very different than other farms and community gardens. It provides food for about 30 local low-income families who have volunteered and contributed to the upkeep of the farm. Common Good City Farm has been in existence at its current location for about 6 months. We helped by mulching a small field to help boost future food production and constructed a frame to hold compost bins.

On Friday, Sue Erhardt, Director of Education, joined us in the field. We spent the day at Lafayette School and Recreation Center in Northwest. We serviced about 50 trees; watering, weeding, mulching, and pruning along the way.

In addition to the watering trucks, the Water By-Cycle crew made it to Casey Trees-planted trees located all around the city including Capitol Hill and downtown.

We have all had a lot of fun while learning and developing our urban tree care knowledge over the past six weeks. We look forward to the last two weeks of the internship!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Contributing Writer - Jonathan Fuentes, Intern

Week 5 and the interns are still strong!

This week has been very educational and exiting. Our professional development day was held at the U.S Botanic Garden where we participated in two tours and an urban forestry discussion. It was a great opportunity to learn about a diverse collection of trees and plants all located in one place. We saw everything from beautiful but poisonous orchids to tall cocoa trees.

One thing that especially interested me during the tour was the science of grafting, where you can take a part of one tree and fuse it to another. It was like the producers of ER became arborists.

The following day seemed like a miracle - it rained, reducing the number of trees that needed to be watered. What we did not plan for was getting rained on.

All the interns have established a great working relationship and are working hard to develop strong leadership skills. Only three weeks left of the internship.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


A few months back Casey Trees was invited to participate in an episode of Renovation Nation for Discovery Channel's Planet Green.

In the midst of the lights and cameras - as you can see above - a star was born. While the majority of our phenomenal field crew participated in the filming, Jim Woodworth, Director of Tree Planting, served as Casey Trees' spokesperson walking the host of Renovation Nation, Steve Thomas, through the tree selection and planting process. So far Jim has not let all the fame go to his head. He is still the same down to earth urban forester you all have come to love over the years.

The air date for our episode has finally been announced. Drum roll please. Friday, August 7, 2009 at 9:00 p.m.

You can find Renovation Nation on each of the below channels.
  • Comcast - 113
  • RCN - 110
  • DirecTV - 286
  • Dish Network - 194
Remember to set your Tivo!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Utility bills costing you too much?

Planting trees strategically in your yard can result in some serious home cooling and heating savings. What would you do with extra cash - take a vacation, go shopping, get a mani/pedi, buy me a nice gift?

The August issue of Better Homes and Gardens not only sings the praises of planting trees but highlights Casey Trees and Davey Trees' Tree Benefit Calculator which allows anyone to estimate the economic and ecological benefits of planting trees in their own yard.

With the help of the Tree Benefit Calculator you can know the value of your trees and finally have that perfect ice breaker to use at parties. I imagine it could go something like..."Hey there. My trees add $200 to my property value and help to conserve 31 kilowatts of energy. What is your name?"

The good news is if the ice breaker falls flat you will still know how much your trees are helping to pay the bills.

Check out the Tree Benefit Calculator and other useful online tools such as Casey Trees Map and the Carbon Offset Calculator at

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Contributing Writer - Evan Douglas, Intern

Casey Trees’ Urban Forestry Summer Internship has been a blast. In the past four weeks I have been to so many places in District I never knew existed such as the U.S. Botanic Garden and the National Park Service elm nursery.

Without question, the most fun professional development events we have had so far was the tree climbing event at the U.S. National Arboretum with The Davey Tree Expert Company last Tuesday. After safety and climbing instructions, each of us had the opportunity to climb a 60’ Chinese cork oak. Tree climbing is a lot more difficult than it looks! Following the climb a few Davey Trees arborists talked to us about arboriculture and career opportunities in urban forestry. I would really like to learn more about both.

Our tree care work has been going smoothly despite the warm and muggy weather. It is always great to have residents come up to us while we are watering and mulching the trees to learn more about Casey Trees or basic tree care. It makes us feel like we are helping make DC a better place to live.

Only four weeks of the internship remain. I wonder what we will learn next!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Casey Trees' Department of Education is looking for a new Education Coordinator to join its team. Think you can fill Christina's shoes? Check out the job posting here. Application close date is Saturday, August 15.

Monday, July 20, 2009


It's hard to be a city tree.

You get weed whacked, knocked by card doors, have power lines all up in your business - it's nonstop. However, cities including DC are making changes for the better.

On Wednesday, August 12 (1 - 4 p.m.), Casey Trees is hosting a special lecture profiling how towns and cities are protecting urban trees. They keynote speaker - Arborist Paul Ries - is all the way from Oregon but the DC metro area is well represented by Mike Knapp (Fairfax County), Chris Cooks (Care of Trees) and our very own Sue Erhardt (Casey Trees).

The class is only $10.00 per person and is a win-win for individuals looking for ISA credits - Urban Tree Protection qualifies. Whether you are an arborist, developer, landscape architect, or just someone who values trees, this class is for you.

Spots are still available but going quick. Advance registration is required. To register, click here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Contributing Writer - Taiysha Hobbs, Intern
The third week in this summer internship has been great and exciting. We are all getting to know each other more and it makes the job experience more fun. As time goes on throughout this internship, I learn more and more about the benefits of trees. It is a rewarding feeling to know that I am trying to improve the lives of trees and the environment.

I would have to say that the highlight of week 3 was on Tuesday when we visited Barry Stahl. During our visit we planted trees, potted baby trees, visited the greenhouse nursery, and learned about the different types of trees. The best part of the visit personally was planting the trees. I planted three trees total: an elm, a silver maple, and a red maple. Despite the hard work of planting a tree, seeing the product is a very invigorating feeling.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday I did tree maintenance around the city. We mainly worked in the Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights areas. However on Wednesday Gregory Prunell, an arborist from Ocean City, Maryland, came to visit and observe how we maintained trees around the city. He was really fun and cool. I love how he was so passionate about trees and his occupation. Hopefully, I will be that passionate about whatever career path I choose to pursue.

To cap off the week, I had another awesome outing with the bikes in the city on Friday. Even though the bike that carries the water trailer was in the shop, we still managed to water a few trees on Friday.

I am really enjoying my time with Casey Trees. It has been an exciting three weeks and I can’t wait to see what the next five weeks will unfold.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We all agree that urban forests are great - increased shade, cleaner air, lower utility bills, more attractive public spaces...the list goes on. As such we generate a lot of interest from individuals and businesses interested in helping Casey Trees restore the District's tree canopy.

We always encourage interested folks to become active urban forestry advocates by volunteering at a tree planting, summer watering, or inventory event, lending their talents to help advance our special projects i.e. videography or photography, planting a tree on private property, organizing a Community Tree Planting, or spreading the word about Casey Trees and the value of trees in urban environments. There is something for everyone, no matter their age or skill level.

Individuals, organizations and businesses have also begun to express an interest in sponsoring Casey Trees' planting and education initiatives. In response, we have developed seven unique sponsorship opportunities to accommodate different giving abilities and interests. Donations of any amount may also be made through Network for Good or part of the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area. We also welcome in-kind support and other sponsorship proposals.

We invite you to read more about each sponsorship opportunity by clicking the image above or by selecting them by name below:

Download all Casey Trees Sponsorship Opportunities.