Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Water By-Cycle Preview

Guest Contributor - Karja Hansen, Bike Crew Chief

Three weeks ago I came on board as Casey Trees Water By-Cycle Bike Crew Chief and the experience thus far has been astounding. Thanks to amazing support from Casey Trees staff, volunteers and partners we now have a fully operational bike shop, a fleet of 10 quality bicycles, and a trailer capable of hauling 300 pounds of tree care equipment.

Before the Water By-Cycle program fully launches, we are coordinating bike watering routes, teaching our interns bicycle safety, and having them practice street biking.

On Friday, two of our interns - Jonathan and Heydi - and I spent the afternoon working on bicycling basics. Within two hours, Jonathan went from never having ridden a bike to successfully riding 100 feet and executing a controlled stop and dismount. Heydi’s enthusiasm and persistence was awesome. By the end of the lesson, Heydi was riding uphill from a dead stop, braking and cornering with the best of them.

There is nothing like personal accomplishment.

On Monday, two more interns - Waaiz and Nina - and I embarked on the inaugural bike test run, riding eight miles and watering trees at eight planting locations. Despite Waaiz and Nina having minimal street biking experience, both maintained confident and safe riding positions throughout the entire day – all with big grins on their faces. Beyond having a successful introduction to street biking, Nina caught a strangling tie on a tree's root collar and Waaiz kept everyone laughing all afternoon.

I have no doubt that the Water By-Cycle program will be a successful addition to Casey Trees tree planting and education initiatives and I am looking forward to the rest of the summer.

Check back here often for more Water By-Cycle adventures and to find out when the bike fleet will be officially unveiled. Tomorrow also begins our Wednesday Intern Blog Posts - Alex Reade is up first.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Casey Trees' 2009 High School Urban Forestry Summer Interns have officially reported for duty. After a very selective process, nine students were selected for the 8-week long internship.

Their summer will be very full and very rewarding. In addition to watering and mulching trees, students will be exposed to a variety of green careers such as arboriculture, urban agriculture, organic gardening, and more. Interns will also be manning our summer bike watering program - Water By-Cycle. Be sure too look out for them and other bicyclists on the road these next few weeks.

Check back here each Wednesday to read what the interns are up to and learning in their own words. Each intern will be a contributing author to the Tree Speak blog.

Get to know each of the interns - Waaiz, Evan, Jonathan, Jaine, Taiysha, Heydi, Lina, Alex, and Nina - here. Learn more about the internship program here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Casey Trees is going to the ball - EARTH BALL 2009.

Members of the DC FOR OBAMA Advocacy Team on Energy & Environment decided to to take action on President Obama's plan to move green energy forward by organizing the 1st annual Earth Ball. The ball takes place on Friday, June 19 at the Mott House (122 Maryland Avenue NE). Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

The goal of the Earth Ball is to promote and educate the public on the creative and innovative options available to reduce our energy dependency.

How is Casey Trees involved? We are one of 15 organizations invited to participate in the ball's Green Exhibit Gallery. Our gallery submission shares a simple message - the average American generates 20 tons of carbon each year, an amount that can be offset by planting 2 trees each year.

Selecting, planting and caring for trees is not difficult. Casey Trees makes it downright simple and affordable. Here's just a few ways we can help you:
  • Tree Rebate - plant a tree at your home in DC and we will send you a $50.00 rebate
  • Community Tree Planting - identify where ten or more trees can go in your neighborhood and we will provide the tools, technical assistance and trees for FREE
  • Homeowner Design Workshop -design a treescape plan for you yard with our landscape design experts and receive a free shade tree delivered to your home for FREE
  • Commemorative Tree - request we plant a tree to honor a special occasion or person. We do all the dirty work for you.
  • Carbon Offset Calculator - determine how much carbon you or your business is emitting and contribute funds to plant the number of trees necessary to offset that amount
Remember when you add trees you help to offset and sequester carbon and move us one step closer to achieving our 40 percent tree canopy goal.

See you at Earth Ball. Corsages optional. ;)

Friday, June 5, 2009


Want to add trees to your apartment complex, synagogue, church, or even private yard this fall? Better get crackin'. The deadline to submit a preliminary application (very short and simple to fill out) for a fall planting is Monday, June 15, 2009.

The Casey Trees Community Tree Planting (CTP) Program, established in 2005, is a grassroots approach to planting trees (10 or more) in neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia. Most private property qualifies. The best part – it's FREE!

Applicants propose a planting site – in DC only – and locations for the trees. Successful applicants are assigned a Casey Trees-trained Lead Citizen Forester as a technical advisor to help applicants determine which tree species to plant and where, and develop a planting plan and maintenance schedule. Casey Trees provides on site planting help AND all the required tools and trees. There is NO cost for this service.

Applicants must:

  • Propose locations for a minimum of ten (10) trees
  • Obtain permission of all property owners were trees will be planted
  • Agree to a post planting, two-year maintenance plan for the trees that includes weekly watering
  • Attend an orientation meeting
  • Host a lunch (i.e. pizza/bbq) for volunteers immediately following the planting

Applications may be sent by fax, mail or email. To apply, click here.

While CTP applications are accepted year round, applications received by June 15, 2009 will be considered for the fall planting season (October – December 2009). Applications received by November 30, 2009 will be considered for the following spring (March – April 2010).

Street tree requests should be submitted to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration at 202-727-1000. Tree requests to fulfill required mitigation for the removal of a Special Tree under the Urban Forest Preservation Act will not be considered.

Questions? Contact Matthew Fried, Urban Forestry Manger, at 202-349-1891 or mfried@caseytrees.org.

Photo - Community Tree Planting with The Ontario Cooperative, Adams Morgan - March 14, 2009.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


This past weekend my friend purchased a car adapter for his iPhone. We plugged the adapter into the cigarette lighter and expected big things. You know what happened? Nothing.

I am not a car guy but my Hardy Boy mystery solving skills told me that the culprit was the car cigarette lighter. I knew how to fix the problem by reading that reliable glove compartment treasure we all turn to at least once in our lives - the car manual.

The USDA Forest Service - like me - recognizes the brilliance of the owner's manual and created their own for trees. Just like an owner's manual that comes with a car or appliance, the Tree Owner's Manual for the Northeastern and Midwestern United States includes a parts list, instructions for installation, tips for troubleshooting common issues, recommended service, and more.

Download it today and learn more about what your tree is telling you.

I am sure all of you are eager to find out what was wrong with the car...it was the fuse. That pesky no. 33,15-amp fuse.

Monday, June 1, 2009


John Ohab is producing an original video series for ScienceCheerleader.com, a blog that promotes public involvement in science and builds awareness around important science policy issues.

In each episode, John takes part in local citizen science projects, interviewing volunteers and project administrators, and reporting back on his experiences.

John's first adventure? Casey Trees of course. Check out the video profiling the McLean Gardens Tree and Shrub Inventory. If what you see interests you, think about volunteering for the upcoming summer UFORE inventory starting June 4, 2009. know you wannna!